6 April 2022
The vital role played by Social Auxiliary workers.
Continuing our series highlighting the vital role played by Carryou’s Social Auxiliary workers, we introduce 34 year-old Shadi Serota from the Elandsvlei Drop-In Centre. Shadi tells us how she came to work for Carryou, and the impact workers like her have had in the community.
“To be honest I never imagined myself doing social work. I studied tourism but something in my life changed and I became interested in helping and healing people” says Shadi.
Services and information often do not end up reaching the townships, so in order to help, Shadi applied for and got a spot on a Social Auxiliary course, studying through the Department of Social Development.
“I completed my course in April 2011 and luckily there was a vacancy at Carryou. I applied and was successful and it’s hard to think I have already been here for 10 years.”
The fundamental work performed by Social Auxiliary workers can best be described by Shadi.
“We mainly focus on social support which is broken down into restoring and uniting families and assisting with applications for documents like birth certificates and ID’s. These documents enable a person to reach important services. Many of our people do not have the knowledge of what they need in order to access government grants like social and disability grants and other aid instruments,” says Shadi.
“We also do home visits, where we can profile which families are in need of assistance. From there we liaise with the various stake-holders and come in and help the family with what they need. We’ve got Elandsvlei, Jabulani and Baepedi, all of which are very impoverished informal settlements – there’s a lot of unemployment and substance and sexual abuse,” she says. “There is a crisis in these areas and that’s where we come in and try to minimize the effects on children by having some form of divergence and awareness programmes to show them an alternative to the environment in which they are growing up.”
It’s an uphill battle but one in which there is much success to be proud of. Shadi says there are so many instances of young beneficiaries turning their lives around that she struggles to name one.
Making a difference, Social Auxiliary Workers
The story of which Shadi is most-proud, is that of one of the former beneficiaries in Elandsvlei who came into contact with Carryou when she was just a little girl.
“She was part of our support and awareness programmes when she was still in school, and with Carryou’s help she completed her matric, obtained a bursary where she studied aviation and is now employed at Lanseria as a flight traffic controller,” says Shadi.
With numerous other examples to share it is clear why Shadi loves her job. She is currently studying Psychology via correspondence and is in her second year. She has two children and hopes to continue with her community work, but as a qualified doctor.