South Africa: Moegamat van Schalkwyk

Date: June 18, 2019
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Being part of a problematic background, having trouble to adopt in the social life as discrimination and rejection form part of my daily life, becoming involved in the lives of my communities, to lead by example and to assist in creating change, resulted in me to become more gender aware. I was able to lead out of my circumstances.  I walked the walked of gangsters, substance abuse and violence, it has more easy for me to be able to meet the suspect. The problem child, the boy at risk half way, it was easy for me to be able to do motivational talks at school as I know the ropes of being a bully, a problem child, a gangster. However assisting with the neighbourhood watch, it was for me restorative, a way to give back, a way to make my parents proud of me … I’m no longer the terrible brothers in Malmesbury, I’m now the chairperson of a Neighbourhood watch structured under the SAPS and CPF of Malmesbury. This gave me more confidence and the way it makes me feel, is the driving force to be able to let others feel the same way.


I want to lead by example! If I was able to break loose from the past, focusing on the positive and not focus on the bad experience in lives, my co-citizens can do the same. I belief that we can teach one another to fish and not only to provide a solution for the moment. It is time to step out of your convert zone, reaching out to those still struggeling to find their real purpose in life, and guide them to best they can be.

Key activities


Patrols, assisting women and children to get back home, after work and functions. Assisting the local police with roadblocks, accidents, housebreaks etc., motivational speeches-school, general assist any one-flat tyres, car breakdowns, fire prevention and evacuating. Help at local functions, example, cancer relay for life, rugby matches, schools and any institution needing our help.


We render service to poor households and people living on the street. We provide nutritional support – soup, meals and bread to those on the street, hospitals, police cells and clinics. We assist with clothing, bedding to those in need. We also assisted with the Wuppertal project.

To conclude:

We provide a referral system to the community, acting as spokesperson between the SAPS, the community and ensure that the lines to the SAPS is open at all times via the Response group on WhatsApp. We assist in enquiries, and we try to address the problems at hand, even if it is crime related or not. We focus on the empowerment of our community in all aspects of life and is not bound to just a certain aspect. We recognize that a community is just as good as its weakest link. We need to acknowledge the challenges and focus on solutions, even if it means taking the hands of those creating the challenges to help them to overcome the challenge they experience.


We realize that we are not the SAPS, however, we belief in taking action in the community, claiming back our neighbourhood and ensure the safety of our women and children. We also focus on the infrastructure and on the reporting of faulty lights, bushes etc. to ensure that the environment is safe for pedestrians.

Key challenges

A new baby is always nice to be around, when a baby grow older, the interest is lacking … within the neighbourhood watch we experienced it that the commitment lack especially in regards to regular patrols. With a diverse community, we also experienced a challenge in regards to young people being part of the process bringing insecurities to the group putting a challenge on our slogan “United we stand, divided we fall”. Having a great relationship with SAPS and the CPF, the challenge is within politics. We are depended on sponsorships from the community which itself is a poor community with a high unemployment rate. We have almost 10 cars to patrol; the challenge is getting enough income to cover the fuel expenses. We are privilege to have families working together in the neighbourhood watch, however, one family fight can result in losing more than half the patrolling members. This include men and women.


Change at the individual level

It’s never too late to stand up for the your community. Faults in the past, should be a learning curve for the future. Being able to use my “BAD HABITS KNOWLEDGE” of the past, to influence those currently in the spider web of abuse, violence and gangsters is a tonic for my self-esteem, helping me to be a mentor in my community, someone with integrity and some one that can change the mind-set of those currently responsible for GBV, domestic violence etc.

Evidence of change at the individual level

Careemah van Schalkwyk (wife) indicated that he assisted her as a child to overcome the death of her parents. He is a caring person, and as a wife, I am proud to be his wife. He is a positive person that create change on a daily basis in our community. He took responsibility not only for the family, our family, but also for every citizen in the community. Putting his own life at risk comes natural as for him the focus is to address the current situation.

Change at the household level  

Dilshaad van Schalkwyk (9 yr. – daughter) as a father of three boys and `1 daughter, she taught me how to accept unconditional love – she address me differently, she hugs me and treat me more feminine, as an old gangster, I needed to learn to accept it and deal with it.

Seeing the challenges in the community, and the pain in abusive families, it changed me to be more aware of my daughter’s needs of pampering and maturing.

Evidence of change at the household level    

Gerhard Januarie Vice – Chairperson

Brotherhood became the new “Talk of the Town” the Voice for Change, the Voice for those in need. This is evident that the life of the Chairman changed by becoming more active in his community, but it is also evident that he stood up as a leader – (Not gangster leader anymore) but a leader in his community that is respected, that is acknowledged and that is leading by example, at home, at community level and in the community.

Change at institutional level     


Abduragman Alie- The Chairperson is a person that likes to engage on different platforms and therefor ensure that the passion and talents of all volunteers is taken into account when setting up action plans and targets for the group. The focus on getting the Brotherhood to be sustainable and not only to provide once off support, but walking a path with the community, family in need or member in the society.

Evidence of change at institutional level       

Abduragman Alie- The Chairperson is a person that likes to engage on different platforms and therefor ensure that the passion and talents of all volunteers is taken into account when setting up action plans and targets for the group. The focus on getting the Brotherhood to be sustainable and not only to provide once off support, but walking a path with the community, family in need or member in the society.

Change at a policy level

We changed the basic tasks of a neighbourhood watch by adding new legs to it.

We now focus on Prevention, Support, Care, and Treatment.

In the past the Neighbourhood watch was focusing on Prevention

Evidence of change at a policy level    

Abduraghmaan Allie – Brotherhood “Has taken care of the machine all month of Ramadan and men and women.”

Carmen Filander – Thank you both of you for driving by accident to send an ambulance and thank you for coming and watching what I do”

Capacity building

Colonel Nielsen – Crime Scene, roadblocks, interviewing skills, observing skills, communication skills, responses to suspects.

Lessons learned and shared      

“Gharaka brings barakah” Movement brings improvement. Life is like moving water … as long as it is moving, it can create change – when it is still standing, and it keeps on rotting.

The Brotherhood want to be moving water that flows through Malmelsbury to bring change and improvement. This can be established by pushing for the agenda for the safety of women and children, bring access to services, domestic violence protection orders etc.

Money will always be a constraint, however, with the heart and the position, if change in one person, can have a ripple effect to create change in the community.

Next Steps   

Society want to extend to focus on Community Based Focus. The focus is to extend to an NPO to extend services to:

– Awareness,  Capacity Building, Anti Rape Techniques,  Self-defence, The idea is to establish a five year project plan that is linked to empower women, children and fathers to participate in community programs and processes, linking it to Council to be kept accountable for programs in the community.