Dedicated, committed, calm, introspective, approachable, humble: these are the words that best describe Samke, CAST’s Social Worker in KwaDabeka. Samke has been with CAST for two years, faithfully serving her community through multiple ways. One of Samke’s primary tasks is to provide counseling for individuals in her community.
Many of the families we encounter in CAST communities are living in chronic crisis where they have encountered continued crisis or in many cases are coping with multiple crises at the same time. Through our partnerships with local churches, CAST seeks to provide services to reach out to these families in order to empower them to overcome their crises and reach a place of hope.
We have established centres in all our communities to provide a space for these physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual needs to be met. CAST’s Social Workers, such as Samke, provide counselling services dealing with poverty, grief, depression, HIV, TB, rape, domestic violence, child abuse, drugs and alcohol and behavioural problems.
In the past Samke had counseled and worked out of a small container on the property of KwaDabeka Baptist Church. While there were plenty of CAST staff and social worker students to do the work in KwaDabeka, there was not enough room to accommodate the needs of clients. At times, the container was so crowded with clients that some had to stand while waiting for services. Additionally, during the summer the container was hot and stuffy, making counseling sessions very uncomfortable.
As a result, last week CAST replaced the old KwaDabeka Community Centre container with a larger, more spacious mobile home trailer. This new Community Centre has two separate counseling rooms and a large open space which will be used for food parcel Sundays, group work such as support groups and workshops, training, and meetings. The KwaDabeka Centre is also equipped with air conditioning so that clients can be counseled in comfort.
During the past week, Samke has had many community members come up to her and ask about what CAST does in the new Community Centre. In Samke’s words, “This has put the Community Centre in the spotlight. We want to provide a quality service. We don’t want to make people wait for services like in a government building.”
Thanks to the new Centre, Samke and other social workers will be able to provide counseling services more effectively, accommodating more people in a space that creates dignity for clients.
However, Samke’s work in KwaDabeka is not limited to counseling. A few months ago, Samke helped to launch a fitness programme for women called Body and Soul in KwaDabeka. Fifteen women from her community meet weekly to not only exercise, but also to pursue holistic wellness in every area of their lives, including their relationship with Jesus. Body and Soul’s tagline is “where faith and fitness meet”.
The purpose of CAST’s Community Centres is to provide centres of care and support in the heart of communities, that offer help and advice to people in need, moving them from helplessness to confidence. Whether it is counselling or exercise, Samke is passionate about meeting the holistic needs of her community, and helping individuals from KwaDabeka reach a place of hope. If you are interested in providing furnishings for the new KwaDabeka Community Centre or getting involved with Body and Soul in KwaDabeka, please contact Murry, CAST’s Volunteer Coordinator, at: firstname.lastname@example.org