The Delft Learning Circle

Picture 2 Circle DelftOur Delft Learning Circle exists since 2003 and has since then experienced a lot of transformation. Members have changed, some of us have moved on and new members joined us.

We meet  two hours every Tuesday from 10am until 12am and every Thursday from 1pm until 3pm. Our Circle Coordinator is Susan Abrahams. At the moment, we are a group of mostly women between our 30′s and 50′s. We all live close to our meeting place, which is the Public Library at the Delft Main Road.

We are all facing similar struggles. Having mostly worked as machinists at factories, we are now unemployed. The majority of us is either a widow or a single parent, having difficulties to manage our daily lives financially. However, we are not giving up. Coming to the Circle gives us support, motivation and inspiration. We have an opportunity to socialize, to share problems and experiences and to give each other advice.

Picture 3 Circle Delft“I come here to empower myself so that I can go back to my community and be of help to them.”

“Sometimes, you sit at home with your problems, but when you come here and talk about them, you already feel better, because we share with each other.”

“I come here to motivate myself and to uplift my spirit.”

Moreover, the circle offers us the possibility to learn nPicture 4 Circle Delftew skills and to broaden our knowledge. After starting our session with a prayer, we decide in consens which issue we want to deal with. We are mostly discussing social issues in our community and how to deal with them: abuse and violence, drug addiction of family members, how to prevent and report crimes, unemployment, health issues and many more are on our agenda. Sometimes, we cooperate with other organizations to organize events or workshops. We took part in a computer course, where we learnt how to set up an email address and how to find information online. Furthermore, every year, we organize the Women’s Day and the 16 Days of Activism in our community.

Overall, we earn consciousness about ourselves and our rights as human beings and strong women in our society. We are confident to raise our voice and to speak up if we and people in our environment are treated the wrong way.

Delft is a township on the outskirts of Cape Town in South Africa. It is notorious for its high crime rate, substandard schools and lack of jobs. It was established to be one of Cape Town’s first mixed race township including ‘coloured’ and ‘black’ residents. In 2011, it had a population over 150 000 inhabitants. The most prominent languages are Afrikaans and Xhosa while English is in wide use as a second language. The majority of residents have not finished their matric. Official unemployment levels are at about 43%, although unofficially, this might be much higher.