The Community Services Team at PADCA renders valuable services to rural communities in the Pietermaritzburg region. The team is relatively small however, we have a dedicated social worker, who has the primary responsibility of engaging with the elderly in the rural communities of Pietermaritzburg by uplifting their lives through community outreach projects. There are presently 17 functional rural social clubs. These clubs meet regularly to socialize, support each other and engage in activities that will help them generate a small income which is generally used to support their families. These older women are affectionately known as our “gogos”.
PADCA promotes and advocates for active aging. Active ageing is the process of maximizing opportunities for health, participation and security in order to enhancethe quality of life as people age. Active aging activities/programmes have been known to improve the physical, mental and social well-being of those individuals involved in them. To promote active aging in these club members PADCA plans and co-ordinates events such as the annual Big Walk, Sports Day and various social /educational outings.
Earlier this year the Community Services team planned and facilitated day trips of a total of 46 social club members to the Royal Agricultural Show. It was astonishing to discover that almost 98% of these older women had never been to the show before. It was thus an eye opening experience for them. They got to explore something new and be part of an experience that left them with lasting memories.
Research reveals that some of the benefits of experiencing something new/different includes:
• Allows us to live our lives to the fullest
• Contributes hugely to our mood and overall feeling of wellbeing
• Gives us new perspectives
• Provides us with a rich and fulfilling life
• Stimulates the mind
It is with this understanding that PADCA arranges beach trips for our rural club members at the end of each year. Those privileged enough to go to the seaside regularly can vouch for the relaxing and calming effect the ocean induces on themleaving them feeling invigorated. PADCA strives to provide their club members with the opportunity to enjoy such an experience.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic this did not happen over the last two years. However, this year we will be resuming these trips to Durban beachfront. Our club members have limited financial means and whilst they can contribute to the trips there is a shortfall that needs to be covered. We would like to thank all those who chose PADCA as a beneficiary on their MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet card. Your swipes made it possible to have these trips and made a difference in the lives of those less fortunate than yourselves.