About Us

Our values and principles

Aanhouwen is a work and care centre for intellectually disabled adults in the Helderberg Basin which was established in 1987 with 4 members. Since then it has grown to a maintainable organization with 65 members between the ages of 18 an 66 years, who attend the centre daily. Around 60% of the members are from underprivileged communities and are transported daily to and from Aanhouwen with transport provided by Aanhouwen vehicles. 


Our story starts way back

Four intellectually disabled adults met 1 afternoon a week at the request of one of the parents. They met at ‘Die ou Murasie’ of the Helderberg NG church one morning a week, and one morning a week at the ACVV Somerset West, run by Heleen de Vries, one of the parents, and Rene Brits, social worker at the ACVV. At the end of 1986 Annette le Roux also got involved.

Members increased to 8 intellectually disabled adults and 3 volunteers. 1 member from Rusthof and 1 from Garden Village joined the group.  Transport became a problem; helpers were using their own vehicles to transport members and any equipment which was being used.  Handwork was done and unfortunately no income was generated, so all funds were out of personal pockets. No fundraising could be done as they were not registered.

Membership grows, and the Ou Murasie becomes too small. Volunteers are very difficult to find, because of the financial state of the group, all needs need to be met from their own pockets to keep the group going.

Committee is established, Prof W Kilian, A le Roux, P le Roux, S and D Breedt, H de Vries. Register as a sub-committee, with the help of Julie de Wet at the Cape Mental Health Association, as Aanhouwen Club for intellectually disabled. Start with fund raising.  Membership now 12, need more staff.  Apply to the Department of Public Works for the house at 183 Main Road, Somerset West. Transport becomes a real problem.  Hired the ACVV bus from Project Daphne on alternative days. Problems to find bus drivers.
Membership: 15, men do not want to do the handwork. Different intellectually disabled levels and different social backgrounds becomes a factor. We use Cape Mental Health’s expertise for evaluation and attend courses to be able to handle crises.

Start with recycling as work creation and to generate funds.  Make articles on order and make the public aware of the services we could offer, and the difference we make to the economy and the environment by better recycling.  More fundraising.   Ask parents if they could contribute R20 per month towards the running costs.  No telephone, in times of crisis, would run across the road to the ACVV office to use the phone.

Work creation is the plan for the year. Very difficult with no phone and no staff. All staff except Beryl Hoy, who was appointed to drive the ACVV bus at the sum of R400 per month, are volunteers.

Until this time only female staff involved daily.  Feb of 1992 things change, and Niek van Straten offers his services. He fixes, builds tin compressors, and assists where any handiwork or repairs are required.   Membership steadily increases and we get enquiries from many different areas in the basin, people who need the services of Aanhouwen but do not have transport, public transport is not safe and financially difficult.

Apply for subsidy from government, our project is evaluated and approved, but as a result of political and economic circumstances, no new subsidies are being approved for the year.  We decide to attempt to become self-sufficient.   It was at this stage that Aanhouwen learns to become a self-sufficient organization.  The house at 183 Main Road becomes too small and is to be demolished.  The search for new premises gets underway.   Councillor Willie Wessels takes on the battle with the municipality of Somerset West for one of the houses in Dummer Street.

We move into premise at New Horizons at 32 Dummer Street.  Membership doubles to 32, we get a telephone and borrow R20,000 from Trust Bank to finance ‘Mossie.     Annette le Roux and Beryl Hoy are now employed full time at Aanhouwen.   12 Volunteer workers offer their mornings to help at Aanhouwen.
Projects: Weaving, Burn-a-brick with the assistance of Rotary.  Filling envelopes for dentists.
Contract work for Sonchem, Steriworld, Streamline gutters, Firecare, Strand Waste, W G Trading.

Outside buildings are constructed with the funds received from Ithuba.  Outside buildings donated by Denel, but transport and construction costs are R44,000.  Once off rent is paid, but all rates and taxes, insurance, maintenance costs and improvements are the responsibility of Aanhouwen.

Venture is bought, second hand, with funds received from Ithuba.

Register as a ‘non-profit organization’ with the constitution of Federation of Mental Health with the Government, and are no longer affiliated with Cape Mental Health Society.  Change the name to Aanhouwen Work and Care Centre for Intellectually Disabled Adults.

Membership has grown to 56 from age 17 to 63, mostly between 25 and 50.
Staff:   A le Roux, B Hoy, Niek van Straaten , A. Blaauw, Longwane Umtoto,and occasionally Sina Terblance for cleaning of the premises.
Volunteers:   4 men and 7 women who assist 1 or 2 mornings a week.
Projects:   Recycling, weaving, handwork, dog beds, JPS Trust,   Filling envelopes for mailing for Maties Travel, Helderberg Village, Drs Vermeulen en Cilliers. Photo copying, candle project, possibility of making dog leashes, firesafe pins.

Buy the Iveco 23-seater bus with the funding from Lotto.

Member numbers increase to 68, between the ages of 17 and 63, mostly between the ages of 25 and 50.
Staff: A le Roux, B Hoy, N van Straaten, D du Preez, N de Beer, U Smit and M Notnagel.
Volunteers :  3 Men, 7 women who offer their help 1 or 2 mornings a week.
Projects:    Recycling, weaving, dog beds, filling envelopes and mailing for Maties Travel, Helderberg Village, photo copying, assembling and packing of saws and saw blades and also the making of fire extinguisher pins.
Handwork:  Beadwork, knitting, embroidery and knotting of carpets and many more.

Our staff
Want to make a difference?

Help us raise funds to create an environment where adults with disabilities are accepted, and their quality of life can be improved.

Aanhou-Wen has a PBO status and can issue a Section 18A Certificate.