Update on the Woza Sidle Project

NOTICE: Woza Sidle is suspended during level 4 lock down.

We are taking a cautious approach during the third wave to make sure the children are not impacted.

We still need funds though for this and other St Vincent De Paul initiatives. At present we are collecting jumble for a jumble sale once lock down is eased. There are many people in need of your generosity – please drop off jumble at the parish office.


The funding will be used to provide a stipend to a retired, qualified teacher and her assistant, the learners’ stationery and textbook requirements, in order to bring undocumented learners to speed with their education needs. This letter should be read in conjunction with the submission to the department of education, in which the society is requesting the Department to consider admitting the same group of learners into the mainstream education system. The funding requested is therefore for a limited period of up to a year, or two at the most, while the society waits for direction from the department of education.

Background*Extracted from the letter to the Department of Education

The St Vincent de Paul Society is an international Catholic charity network of lay Catholics who volunteer to serve and assist vulnerable and marginalized people in local communities. It has been operating in South Africa since 1856 and is a registered non-profit and public benefit organisation (NPO 003/193).  We aim to relieve suffering and promote human dignity amongst the poor.  We also aim to provide a hand up not just a handout.

As the Bryanston Conference of the St Vincent de Paul Society, we conduct our outreach work in the Diepsloot community.  Our work typically revolves around the lives of over 300 people. Family home visits take place fortnightly and we provide encouragement, comfort and assistance when distributing the available food items to the community.  We initiated teaching people to grow food, knit and sew and sell goods in order to provide for themselves.

Our outreach work in Diepsloot has enabled us to get to know the families we work with a bit better and to understand their day to day challenges.  The vast majority of these families do not have South African identity books and/or birth certificates.  Others are foreign nationals with no proof of identification at all.  This renders the latter undocumented migrants in South Africa.  They have varying reasons for being in South Africa and many of them have been resident here for at least ten years.  They consider Diepsloot as their home with no reasonable prospects of returning to their countries of origin due to the extreme financial hardship and/or political persecution they fled from.  As undocumented migrants, they are not entitled to social security and relief packages such as grants, they struggle to access health care, they are not fairly remunerated for their work if at all they are able to secure employment, and they are unable to register their children into public schools.

We continue to encourage and train the adults in the communities we serve to become self-sufficient.  However, it is apparent that they will not be able to give their children proper access to education as they cannot afford private school fees in neighbouring areas and are being turned away from public schools because they are undocumented.

In view of the above, the society has approached  the Department of education for assistance in placing about thirty-five undocumented learners of school going age into the schools within the Diepsloot area, and to provide guidance on the disconnect between policies and practices on the admission of undocumented learners, as briefly stipulated below:

On 10 February 2021 the Minister of Basic Education published for public comment the Admission Policy for Ordinary Public Schools under the National Education Policy Act, 1996 (Act No. 27 Of 1996).  The 2021 Policy will replace the 1998 Admission Policy for Ordinary Public Schools published in General Notice No. 2432 in Government Gazette No. 19377 of 19 October 1998.  Paragraphs 23 of the 2021 Admission Policy for Ordinary Public Schools states the following:

Admission of undocumented learners

  1. The right to education extends to everyone within the boundaries of South Africa, the nationality and immigration status is immaterial. All schools are advised to admit learners and serve their education requirements irrespective of whether the learner or parent of a learner does not produce documents listed in paragraph 15, 17 to 20 of this policy.

This seems to contravene sections 39 and 42 of the Immigration Act 13 of 2002 which implies that undocumented migrants cannot be absorbed in the south African systems-education included.

Interim measure

As an interim measure, while the society waits for the final directive from the department of education, the society has identified a qualified, retired teacher, to provide basic literacy and numeracy skills to all the children, until such a time that they can be absorbed in the mainstream education system. She will be assisted by an identified untrained individual. The Society would also like to provide stationery and learning materials to the learners, all subject to the availability of funding.  These children are currently spending time during the week on unstructured activities at our extension 12 SSVP premises.

Teacher’s qualifications:

The teacher in question is a qualified Primary school teacher with about 29 years’ experience, the bulk of which was teaching grade one and two children. She also has experience teaching mentally handicapped, and autistic children at different levels.  She also ran a pre-school for about five years.

Estimated Cost breakdown

Detail Cost per month Cost per year
Teacher: 5 hours a week [ 20 hours a month], at a rate of R350 per hour R7000.00 R84,000.00
Assistant: 5 days a week @R1000 a week R4000.00 R48,000.00
Stationery R2266.77
Workbooks R5952.72
Miscellaneous, e.g. printing R 3 000.00
Total costs R11 000.00 R143,219.49



Your organisation/Individual to consider funding the project for a period of between one and two years.

Please note that all donations are tax deductible in terms of Section 18A as SSVP is a registered NPO.



St Vincent de Paul Society,
Nedbank Nicolway,
Account Number: 1522 039 570.

Spaghetti Bolognese (Woza Sidle Project)

At the beginning of August 2020, the Roberts-Burgos Family were inspired to help underprivileged children in Diepsloot by providing a nutritious meal. Roy Hawkins, Peter Uran and the St Vincent de Paul Society (SSVP) team were eager to guide and help Brenda along this journey and their years of experience was invaluable in getting this project off the ground.

This project is not only an opportunity to feed the vulnerable children of Diepsloot, but is also an opportunity for the children to encounter Jesus in others. The first meal was provided on 23 August to 150 children. It was an extremely emotional, yet fulfilling experience and the project has committed to providing lunch every Saturday for six months, until February 2021 (Update: the programme has been extended by a further six months in light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic).

We are appealing to you, our community, to step up and be a part of this initiative. As they say, “many hands make light work”, so we’re looking for cooks to help prepare the meals that SSVP will distribute. If you are not in a position to cook, you can enable our ministry by making food donations, ingredient donations, cash donations (paid into the SSVP bank account with the reference “Bolognese”) and offering up our ministry in prayer.

Please follow this recipe.

Contact communication@bryanstoncatholic.co.za if you would like to get involved or need more information.

About St Vincent de Paul

St Vincent de Paul continues it’s outreach work in Diepsloot. As you can imagine, the number of people who need assistance grows daily. With donations from our parishioners, the society will be able to feed more people daily through the soup kitchen they have set up in Diepsloot and will continue to provide food parcels to the neediest members of our community.
If you wish to assist St Vincent de Paul during these very difficult times, please donate to:

St Vincent de Paul Society,
Nedbank Nicolway,
Account Number: 1522 039 570.

Should you require a section 18A Tax Certificate (in terms of the Income Tax Act No. 58 of 1962) for your donation then please provide us with the following info.:

Your Full names,
Your Address (postal or physical as per your tax registration)
Your email address and/or contact no.

If you can assist us in any way please contact Jacqui Grieve on 083-449-5261 or jacquelinemgrieve@gmail.com


The Saint Vincent de Paul Society started in 1833 when a group of French Catholic university  students led by Frederic Ozaman debating religion were challenged by what they/the Church  were doing: ‘Show us your good works, that we might believe …”

By 1835 the society was named after St Vincent de Paul, (born 1580 in France and canonised a Saint in 1737) who dedicated his life to the poor.

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

We live out our mission –

Our aim is not only to provide immediate support, but to enable those we assist to break free from the cycle of poverty. Our desire is to empower and enable – a hand up not a handout.  Visiting the needy must always be seen as a humble demonstration of love. The first act of charity is love. Nelson Mandela said that “ over coming poverty is not a task of charity,  but an act of justice”

The Vincentians of Bryanston have been doing just that as an act of love for the poor and downtrodden that we serve in all our deeds, prayers, time and charity. We have a dedicated group of like minded people in our society all pulling together and supplying their own personal contribution in order to make difference in someone else life. Every one of the Vincentians are helping someone. Vincentians are diverse and all have a special contribution to make. The members have pushed our boundaries in doing more and more with less resources.

We help any parishioners or resident in need and respond to many calls or referrals for assistance in many forms.

Historically through our parish in Diepsloot just north of us & Meadowlands in Soweto (previously also Phiri and Ivory Park) we have been alerted to major needs of the Diepsloot community north of us where we are very active. Our twin conferences in Soweto have received financial support from us to carry out their good deeds and feed the poor as well.

At the Diepsloot Catholic Church the Father Louis Blondel Youth Centre (FLBYC) built from the estate of Father Louis Blondel a missionary murdered in 2009 on the same Church grounds. The centre is dedicated to planting seeds of hope in the soils of despair. The FLBYC is a vibrant and integral part of the community, providing pupils and unemployed youth, with assessments and support to enable them to obtain gainful employment. We have partnered with the Wot-If trust and are focussing on Agriculture, IT, Construction and Training.

Our support in Diepsloot X12 and X1 typically revolves around the lives of over 300 people. Family home visits take place fortnightly and we provide encouragement, comfort and assistance – because we follow in Christ’s footsteps to help the needy and poor. The appreciation of those we help who should be so bitter “with their lot” is a profound lesson in humility and respect for the downtrodden.

Palliative care and dignity for chronically ill and terminal patients is a basic right for all. We work with authorities for the human dignity to be upheld and supplied and assist ourselves to get this.

Accessing health care is a real problem for the poor, sick and physically and mentally disabled and we assist with taxi fares or accompaniment to hospital or clinics. The neglect and disrespect of the poor and sick by the majority of our government and people that we encounter is alarming. We are All God’s people and do follow Christ’s love for all.

Lack of ID’s and birth certificates is a major problem for those who apply for their grant entitlements or jobs or school attendance in Diepsloot .Once again like with health neglect ,dis-respect is encountered and we do our best to assist as best we can but injustices continue against our downtrodden brothers and sisters.

Our Vincentians initiated teaching people to grow food, knit and sew and sell goods in order to provide for themselves.

We are sending 2 local residents to be trained as auxiliary social workers to expand the good deeds. We also pay small hand up stipends to 2 other residents to provide assistance and practical help to the community.

Believing that further education is vital we have found assistance for 4 other resident students through bursaries obtained or through contribution from conference members.

A talented & caring husband and wife team (newcomers) ran motivational courses to Grade 4 & 5 children to motivate them out of their dire circumstances and inferior education. In addition they are providing much needed mentoring, love and care to our sponsored students.

We are blessed in SVDP Bryanston to have wonderful support, strong community partners, and a true village approach. The SVDP community is the village that helps those in desperate need.

Thanks to our donors in all areas without your support good deeds would not be possible; the people collecting money, the jumble team who: distribute/help to those in need, raise money and  empower others to provide for themselves, those visiting and supporting the downtrodden & needy and fighting for them,  encouraging the youth, empowering and validating individuals & showing our love for all God’s children. You are making a large difference but we ALL still need to do a lot more to break the deprivation trap for the unfortunate people we assist.