CTICC celebrates 14 years by giving back

The CTICC donates laptops to the administration unit of the micro-farming organisation Abalimi Bezekhaya. CTICC CEO Julie-May Ellingson with Mama Mabel Bokolo and Dave Golding.

The Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) celebrated its 14th anniversary on 28 June and what better way to celebrate than to give back to the community of Cape Town.  


On Wednesday, 28 June, the centre donated R14000 worth of much-needed goods to each of its five local community partners. The donation (worth R70 000 in total) included electronic devices, kitchen appliances, furniture and catering equipment.


The CTICC is a strategic asset of the City of Cape Town, Western Cape Government and SunWest. The CTICC, which opened its doors in 2003, has entered into a partnership with five local community organisations, namely Ikhaya le Themba, Abalimi Bezekhaya, Foundation for Alcohol Related research (FARR), Journey of Enrichment, and Mothers Unite. The organisations are all non-governmental organisations operating in the Western Cape and working amongst vulnerable communities.  The partners were asked to identify critical items they need to enhance and improve their operations.


“Our 14th birthday presented the ideal opportunity for the CTICC to celebrate and support the work done by our local community partners (LCPs).   So often non-profit organisations will receive funding for projects but run the risk of not being able to fulfil their mandate because they do not have the operational resources required.  We hope the items provided by the CTICC will allow our LCPs to not only sustain, but also extend, the positive work they are doing in and around Cape Town,” said Julie-May Ellingson, Chief Executive Officer of the CTICC.


Abalimi Bezekhaya supports micro-farming on the Cape Flats, and has been a partner of the CTICC for over ten years. The organisation’s social business, Harvest of Hope, also supplies the centre’s catering department with fresh, organic vegetables.


“The CTICC, at 14 years old, has been walking the long road with Abalimi for over ten of those years – the road to food and economic freedom through family farming. We are grateful for the CTICC’s ongoing support. For example, their hands-on support on


Mandela Day and their birthday gift of new laptops for our highly pressured admin unit.    Most of all, we are grateful for the CTICC’s determination and stamina to stay the course with us,” said Rob Small, Founder of Abalimi Bezekhaya.


Another long-standing partner of the CTICC, FARR, works and conducts research around foetal alcohol syndrome thought to affect at least 3 million people in South Africa.  The foundation now has a new projector to use in its education and project work.


“The CTICC adopted FARR in 2012 as one of its CSI projects. Since then, FARR has received numerous contributions ranging from furniture, conference bags, blankets and toys for our clients. Donations like these are priceless as it fills so many gaps which we cannot fund from day-to-day project funding. FARR is extremely honoured and grateful for the CTICC’s support in the important task of Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder research, awareness and prevention,” said FARR’s Chief Executive Officer, Leana Olivier.


Journey of Enrichment, a feeding scheme operating in Cape Town will use the catering equipment and furniture it received in its outreach programmes.


“As a non-profit organisation that relies so much on community support, we have mainly operated on a word-of-mouth basis and on the generous support of family and friends. Understandably, this has not afforded us the opportunity to acquire items that could improve both our visibility and ability to fulfil our aims and objectives. That being said, these gifts from the CTICC are a huge boost for us and an empowering contribution for our non-profit organisation,” said Tasneem Abrahams, Treasurer at Journey of Enrichment.


Ikhaya le Themba, which also participated in the CTICC’s Youth Day programme, received much-needed laptops for their field staff.  The organisation does extensive family support and enterprise development work in the community of Khayelitsha.  


Said Theresa Richardson, Enterprise Development Manager, at Ikhaya le Themba: “To have mobile hardware that our mentors and staff can use in the field makes a huge difference in keeping our systems in place and reducing the amount of hours needed to do admin, allowing us to focus on the families and children in need. These laptops are changing lives and making our organisation more effective in the community.”


Mothers Unite, which is dedicated to tackling poverty in the Seawinds and Lavender Hills community, received kitchen appliances – equipment which it would not have been able to afford without assistance.


Gerry Gordon, Director of Mothers Unite, added: “The appliances will certainly assist us in furthering our aims of assisting the children and the most vulnerable elderly in the nutrition project where meals are cooked and distributed.”

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