Margaret Maans is the visionary leader of the Bethesda Community Centre located in Moorreesburg, a rural town in the Swartland Municipality.
Established in 2015, Bethesda Community Centre currently runs an After School programme that provides academic support to 20 grade 4 learners and reaches a total of 65 primary school learners through their life skills programme.
They recently received a favourable outcome for an application to Breadline Africa to construct in-school premises.
This will enable them to run their Wordworks programme in school which will increase their learner reach and the structure will also double as a school library.
Moorreesburg is cut off from the city and is disenfranchised to a large extent, which is often the case with many rural towns.
The work that Bethesda Community Centre has done and continues to do with limited resources is quite commendable.
Bethesda is evidence of how a community-based organisation can take tangible steps to bring about much-needed social change in its immediate environment and Margaret Maans leads the way with her dedication and purpose.
This is her story…
What inspires you the most or motivates you to thrive in your role?
I take inspiration from my personal mantra Purpose, Passion and Practice.
I have been on a journey through my work experience and had been working in private as well as government sector and finally ended up in the NPO sector, where I truly found my calling.
I have come to this conclusion that one can only give what you have.
So, having a defined Purposed inspires Passion and informs one Practice.
This is where I derive my joy form.
It activates my giving of what I have and what I know.
I love to be part of change.
I enjoy seeing how children transform into confident and healthy youth leaders.
I am exhilarated to be part of a team that creates opportunity pathways which speaks to the context of our young people.
Martin Luther King Jr said: “Not everyone can be famous, but everyone can be great because greatness is determined by service.”
What do you hope to achieve through the work that you do?
I envision that every child that we connected and journeyed with, will reach their fullest potential.
That they will be well rounded adults that know how to be great leaders, to be gracious and humble in their success.
I hope that the little seeds of love, joy and kindness that we sow today in our kids, will produce a great harvest of thoughtful, accountable and resilient young leaders.
My ultimate goal is that every successful youngster will return the good deed by ploughing back into their community and by supporting another child to reach their dreams.
I believe that we can break the circle of poverty and be a thriving community if everyone plays their part.