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Care capital celebrates with Woes Fest

A festival to celebrate Worcester as the care capital of South Africa, was held this past weekend.

“The very first Woes Care Fest was a success and we are hoping that this will only grow bigger next year and be the first of many to come,” said excited festivalgoers.

The purpose of this incredible festival, which took place from 4 to 6 May, was to raise awareness in the community about people with disabilities. The entire festival was built on this central theme, which will hopefully grow bigger in the future.

There was an open day on Friday 4 May, followed by a fun-filled festival on Saturday and a Potjiekos Peace Meal event on Sunday morning. This food was distributed to people with disabilities.

The Pot Ve Pens initiative took the lead with the Potjiekos Peace Meal drive, aiming to distribute 10 000 meals. Indeed, they eventually distributed an incredible 11 160 meals.

The National Institute for the Deaf (NID), Innovation for the Blind (IB) and the Association for People with Disabilities (APD) all hosted events on Friday where they gave businesses in Worcester as well as the public the chance to literally stand in the shoes of people with disabilities.

NID had an event, Deaf For An Hour, where people could only communicate through sign language. “I have newfound respect for the deaf, because it was not easy to communicate and I only see the challenges they go through now. So many of us take the fact that we can hear for granted,” said one of the visitors.

From showcasing how to make coffee to playing chess, IB offered a number of stations where visually impaired people interacted with the public and explained to them how they are treated in public and how they would like to be treated.

APD welcomed the public with dance and Deonie Basson, marketing manager at APD, took the crowd around APD from the laundromat to the day-care centre and spoke about their different departments. Visitors were also given the opportunity to create a memento at the APD arts and craft department which has been going on for five years.

Saturday morning kicked off with the Disability Awareness Mile, where organisations came together to walk from the Town Hall. This was followed by an obstacle course where each organisation created obstacles for the public to participate in with the same limitations of the disabled people albeit it hearing impairment, physical impairment or any other form of disability. There was delicious food available, a photo booth to capture the moments, and entertainment by Mathys Roets.

Sunday marked the Potjiekos Peace Meal at the Town Hall, where businesses from Worcester came together in the spirit of ubuntu. Businesses and organisations such as Pioneer Printers, RCL, BVM Cares, Team SATVI to name a few, made the potjiekos, under the leadership of Pot Ve Pens, to donate to the people with disabilities as well as those in need. Riaan Bürger from Pot Ve Pens says he had no other choice but to give to those in need. “The support from Woes Care Fest Coordinator, Jaco du Preez, and my wife Lynn is also a big reason why the distribution of the food was a success,” adds Bürger.

The Woes Care Festival organisers would like to thank Pot Ve Pens and all the sponsors for the food and all interested parties who made the event a success.

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