See why Pebbles is ALWAYS making a difference

Thursday, 30 September, 2021
wine.co.za, Judy Brower
South Africans are a resilient bunch, and the team at Pebbles are no different. During the last 18 months they have actively continued their work in the Western Cape and are increasing their footprint all the time.

The world is a different place today from 15-20 years ago, with the Corona virus having had a major impact and we are clearly not exempt here in the southern tip of Africa.

I was reminded recently about the signficant work that the Pebbles Project does.  This has become a big organisation, a responsible, reliable and respectable organisation, employing over 90 staff, right across the Western Cape. Their most recent addition has been the Twinings Mobile Clinic, servicing the Clanwilliam area and Rooibos tea workers. Their impact is felt from Stellenbosch, Paarl and across to the Hemel en Aarde valley near Hermanus, where they started their first Academy in July 2019.

They have worked hard to grow and maintain their donor base, and the fact that they have an impressive track record since 2004 (17 years) means they continue to attract funding  and make a bigger impact on the lives of farm workers. Their donor income increased by a massive 30% in the last year.

One of South Africa's biggest challenges is teenage pregnancies, and the fact that in all the years, they have had only 4 teenage pregnancies is remarkable, in a base of 1200 children who they serve, but still 4 too many. The stress and impact of having a child as a teenager is huge.

When visiting the Pebbles Clinic at Villiera recently, I was very impressed by the holistic approach. Education is a key part of what they do. They provide access to information to mothers on the first 100 days of the baby's life and provide a care pack for each mother, and do many workshops to all ages and genders around sexual health, as well as education around pregnancy. If we can ensure that every child born in the winelands is planned and can be taken care of well and has a good start in life, with access to education, good nutrition and health care, we are already going to see a huge improvement of the quality of life across the board.

The clinic (housed on Villiera - the ever-generous hosts), provides plenty of access to dental care and education with an oral hygienist on board full time. Many of the children who come to the clinic don't even have toothbrushes, so they ensure that these basics are available to everyone, limiting tooth extraction and decay.  

Reading and access to books is critical to the development of young minds and I was delighted to see how librarian Joan de Leeuw brings subjects and themes to life. She and her assistant Mariana Julies dress up in themed clothing (eg Olympics - where there was a wonderful opportunity to introduce the children to Japan and its culture) and using puppets to bring stories to life. The mobile library brings these books to the children across the winelands.

During 2020 and throughout the lockdown due to Covid19 - the Pebbles Kitchen provided over 1 million nutritious meals to thousands of people who were struggling, and this basic outreach is just one of the cornerstones of their operation.


One of my particular passions is making a difference to young teenagers stepping out into adulthood, and I was pleased to see that a big focus going forward is their Early Adulthood Program (EAP) run by Marian Hendricks. Their aim will be to ensure that the 15 to 25-year-olds have access to soft skills sorely needed as well as preparing and equipping them for the world of work. This will encompass Subject and Career Guidance, Further Education Enrolment and Placements, Training and Support, Social Work Support, Primary Health Care, Dental, Wellness and Adult Sexual Education.

Change takes time, and 17 years later there are 1200+ children whose lives have been significantly improved as a result of the extended efforts of The Pebbles Project.

Well done to team Pebbles - your vision and hard work are valued.

Judy Brower

Judy has been running wine.co.za alongside her hubby Kevin Kidson since 1996. She takes photos, attends functions, writes occasionally, sells wine.co.za services, is Mrs HR at the company, cooks yummy lunches from time to time and generally is the glue at wine.co.za

Librarians Joan de Leeuw & Mariana Julius
Librarians Joan de Leeuw & Mariana Julius

Clinic Manager Samantha Adams
Clinic Manager Samantha Adams

Twinings Mobile Clinic - Lenay Zimri
Twinings Mobile Clinic - Lenay Zimri

Twinings Mobile Clinic in Clanwilliam
Twinings Mobile Clinic in Clanwilliam

Clinic dental hygienist Mellissa Hendricks & Olivia Albertus
Clinic dental hygienist Mellissa Hendricks & Olivia Albertus

Care pack for new mums
Care pack for new mums

Learning about pregnancy
Learning about pregnancy

The dental chair
The dental chair

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