The Ashley Kaimowitz Memorial Fund was established by the Rotary Club of Hout Bay in support of the Nonceba Centre in Cape Town, a welfare project for sexually abused and raped children. Past President Don Peters of Rotary Hout Bay, who was awarded a Sapphire Award for his sterling efforts to Rotary over the years, coordinates the contributions of the four Rotary clubs that support the fund: RC Sea Point, RC Claremont, RC Kirstenbosch and RC Kromboom.
The Heart of the Matter
This is a story of a young lady from a privileged background who joined Rotary’s programme Interact while at school in Cape Town. Ashley was a compassionate, loving and wise young woman and she recognized the horrific problems facing society. In her own words, “I have learnt that even though there are horrors facing our world there is good buried within it, evident in those willing to reach out a hand and a heart to help. I firmly believe that the life of one person, if helped, can change the course of the world, as you never know who that one little girl or boy could be or could achieve.”
Ashley began her journey in the township of Khayelitsha close to Cape Town helping children who had been sexually assaulted, raped, abused or were victims of family violence. Ashley was so overwhelmed emotionally that she knew that her purpose on this earth was nothing less than to change it.
A Dream Commences
At sixteen years old Ashley became totally involved in the Nonceba Family Counselling Centre. She made a video film of the centre and she turned out to be a first class fundraiser. In 2004, Ashley was accepted for a Rotary Exchange tour to Japan and whilst there continued to promote the cause of abused children by showing her film. She then returned and continued her work in Khayelitsha.
In March 2005, Ashley was tragically killed by a drunk driver ending a life filled with promise. In a tribute to her, a Rotarian wrote, “Everybody, from adults to children, all religions and cultures, working across all divides, learned much from Ashley. We learnt about humility, determination and cheerfulness when faced with overwhelming and challenging circumstances.”
A Memory that has Built a Legacy
Now she is gone, we would like to think that the fund legacy is a cherished gift from her to all people. Perhaps, if nothing else, this is a monument to the compassion, love and wisdom that this young woman represented. She has certainly left a small part of her personal philosophy and attitude to life with everything she touched. Her film, a working document of her beliefs, and Nonceba are her legacy. Nonceba, with support from Rotary, continues this work.
Those Rotary Clubs closely involved with Ashley, led by the Hout Bay Rotary Club, established the Ashley Kaimowitz Memorial Fund with the sole aim of assisting the Nonceba Centre and completing Ashley’s dream. Together with the Nonceba Centre trustees a new building was erected and the Rotary International dedication was carried out by the Chairman of Rotary Foundation, Bob Scott. The main driver of the project is past president Don Peters of Rotary Club of Hout Bay, who administers the funds.
Part of an African Tour – Well Worth a Visit
The Nonceba Centre remains very busy as the incidents, sadly, of child rape and abuse are not diminishing. The Centre is now becoming an important part of the community in Khayelitsha and is a “must” for all Rotarians to visit. The Ashley Kaimowitz Memorial Fund and the Nonceba Family Counselling Centre are unique examples of Rotary International working with many facets of Rotary service such as Interact, Rotary Youth Exchange programme, Rotary Clubs, Rotary Districts and Rotary Foundation itself.
KEY BENEFITS FOR POTENTIAL FUNDERS OF THIS PROJECT ARE:
- Any donations made go direct to the fund administered by Rotary Club of Hout Bay and supported by three Rotary clubs locally
- Nonceba is situated in an informal township on the outskirts of Cape Town and is a fully functional, well-run project with direct benefits to the local community.
- Contacts are past president Don Peters c/o Rotary Club of Hout Bay. International contacts can be made per our contact page or through Rotary District 9350 which is in the Cape Town telephone directory.