Teen councillor collecting toiletries for needy

Fish Hoek teenager Nathaniel Madgwick, seen here at a Junior City Council meeting, is working with Living Hope to collect buckets of toiletries for the poor.

A Fish Hoek teenager, who serves on the Junior City Council (JCC), is working with Living Hope to collect buckets of toiletries for poor communities.

“The aim of the project is to provide people with basic hygiene products. The products will be placed inside a bucket that can also be used to transport water if needed,” says Nathaniel Madgwick, 16, who hopes to one day pursue a political career.

Nathaniel is the only home-schooled member of the JCC, a City-run initiative to expose teens to the workings of the city council and encourage active citizenry among the youth. He represents Sub-council 19’s four wards, which include Cape Point, Muizenberg, Fish Hoek, Kommetjie, Ocean View, Simon’s Town, Seawinds, Noordhoek and Sunnydale.

In addition to attending six formal council meetings, junior councillors have to be active in their community and set up their own community projects.

“I decided to do a drive to collect things that would be beneficial to communities that needed them. I contacted Living Hope to ask what would be useful for me to do a drive for because I didn’t want to collect items that they already had loads of,” Nathaniel said.

“Their biggest challenge they found is that people in the areas where they work have access to water, but they lack the means to carry it and the products to wash themselves with.”

Nathaniel hopes, with support from the public, to fill the “dignity buckets” with a 200ml shampoo, two bars of soap, two tubes of toothpaste, four toothbrushes, four facecloths, and four disposable razors.

Living Hope executive director Victor Thomas thanked Nathaniel for his commitment to making a difference.

“Our clients who leave our health-care facility, our sub-acute hospital in Capri Village, do not have access to these items, and when it comes to hygiene, these items are essential,” he said.

Living Hope, does, on average, 9500 in-home medical visits annually, all over the peninsula.

“Sometimes we know that some of these families do not have access to basics like soap, shampoo and facecloths, and these items can be essential for cleaning wounds between our visits to ensure good health,” he said.

Occasionally, there are smaller fires, and Living Hope is the only service that responds.

“In those instances, packs are not provided by other services, and we can then distribute these,” Mr Thomas said.

Nathaniel hopes to donate 20 buckets by Wednesday March 22, and then keep going.

Contact Nathaniel at 068 562 3491 or nate.matchstick@gmail.com