On Tuesday 29 September, a simple handover of a soccer ball to a group of young boys and their “coaches” marked the kickoff of Crosby- I Care. An initiative aimed at taking small steps to improve the neighborhood where The Barefoot Facilitator home-office is based.

During lockdown Rehana decided to establish The Nyuki Fund. Nyuki – which is a Swahili word for bees, is intended to promote productivity, collaboration and support of initiatives and actions that lead to common good.

The first project that was initiated was the park clean up. Two residents of Slovo Park an informal settlement bordering Crosby and Coronationville have an opportunity to earn a stipend for assisting with the cleaning. “It’s pointless always complaining and doing nothing,” said Rehana. For a while now, the park has looked unkempt and provides no dignity for people who use it as a thoroughfare or recreational space. The Barefoot Facilitator paid to have a few things repaired and the park is now being cleaned on a daily basis. “It’s fantastic to go out early in the morning and listen to the birds, get fresh air and see a few people using the park for jogging, exercising or conscious breathing,” said Rehana.

Late afternoons see groups of young boys from Slovo Informal Settlement showcasing their soccer prowess. “Handing over a new soccer ball – May feel like a small thing, but I am hoping that it’s kicking off a new game – that of caring about people, place and planet.”

Crosby- I Care is intended to keep supporting initiatives which see us as residents take ownership of our spaces and restore pride in our area. People constantly move, looking for better areas- when we should create better spaces where we live.

Seeing the sparkle in the eyes of the “coaches” and boys is motivating me to think about additional ways to be useful in supporting community development initiatives. Crosby – I Care is committed to encouraging community members working together to improve our area.

Covid19 has amplified the ongoing inequality and poverty which each of us can do something about. The Barefoot Facilitator is taking very small steps to ensure that we utilize what we are learning about in the work we do and applying it in a physical space.

Keep watching this space for more initiatives that will be undertaken under the banner of Crosby- I Care.