The founder of Aurorah Kuils River Community Action Network (CAN) Latifah Jacobs has received a third award for her volunteer work.
The award was presented at a gala dinner, at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, last Friday to recognise the top-20 feeder schools to CPUT and acknowledge principals, life-orientation teachers and community organisations and leaders who inspire hope in the youth.
Ms Jacobs was nominated by CPUT student recruitment officer Grant Barends.
“Apart from the wonderful community work that she does in Kuils River of feeding the community and assisting with relief when required, Latifah really is a leader in the true sense of the word,” he said.
“She assisted in mobilising learners from all the schools in the area to participate in a higher education expo that CPUT was participating in. This meant the message of studying further reached more young people than just one school.”
Ms Jacobs has turned a shipping container into a mini-library in Kuils River and she also runs a free after-school programme for children.
She left the corporate world in 2015 to complete her studies and during this period she used her savings to donate to non-profit organisations in Delft, Manenberg, Lavender Hill and Mitchell’s Plain.
After completing her matric in 2016, she received a bursary to further her studies with a business management course at CPUT, which she completed in 2017.
While working in Manenberg in 2018 she came across an opportunity to complete a higher certificate in community development with the Cornerstone Institute and finished it in 2020.
She was still in her final year of studies, though, when Covid hit, leading her to start the Aurorah CAN to feed the needy.
She continued her studies online while raising awareness about Covid-19 and helping in Sophiatown informal settlement near her house with food relief.
”During Covid, I did various things not just in my own area but also volunteered with 1000Women1Voice and One Billion Rising. I assisted soup kitchens, going as far as doing weekend trips to Lambert’s Bay to collect fish for the kitchens or oranges on the farms. I started small from cooking just one burner to cooking two- and three-burner stoves helping 14 kitchens in Kuils River,” she said.
She received the City’s Community Hero of The Year Award in June last year and the Play Your Part Award from Brand SA, in March this year.
This year, the single mother of three completed a nine-month course on substance abuse at UWC, where she is also studying for a Bachelor of Community Development degree.
“My love for working in the developmental field comes from wanting to see everyone exploring and realising their full potential,” she said.