WUCT was born out of the work of a small group of committed Christians in the Tokai and Constantia parishes. It started with provision of food and clothing to those in need in the community, through to developing a strategy for an onsite building, crèche and pre-school and then into the area of health and welfare support, skills training and youth development.
In the late 1990s, prior to the building of the Westlake Business Park, a small group of Christians worked with and built up a relationship with the informal dwellers at the side of the M3 highway. Di Forrester was one of these key people, and remains today committed to helping this vulnerable community. With the building of the business park starting in 2001 came the provision of 650 2-room brick houses with running water and toilets, but with no ceiling and tiny backyards. These 650 semi-detached (RDP) houses were given to the community, but soon it was evident this was not sufficient and backyard bungalows soon aided with this need.
Those residents blessed with improved housing were sadly not provided with the means to sustain ownership. Crime, violence, alcohol and drug abuse were rampant as people struggled with unemployment and low self-esteem. Little children of pre-school age roamed the streets, ill clad, dirty and often hungry.
With no schools in the area, older children had to travel long distances to attend outlying schools, with most unemployed parents giving up in the end. With no education and hope, the children were open to abuse and the dangers of crime and drug addiction.
It is under these circumstances that a group of eight churches came together, to put together a programme of development. The Church of the Holy Spirit, St Martin’s Anglican Church Bergvliet, Tokai Methodist Church, Christ Church Constantia, Bergvliet Congregational Church and Trinity Presbyterian Church Meadowridge.
By 2002, there were 1400 families living in the area. The growth in numbers is mainly due to those residents who received a house generating income by renting out corrugated structures in their back yards to those without houses. Overcrowding was rife from the beginning.
In February 2002 the Emmanuel Educare Centre of Westlake was created under the leadership of the much loved and respected retired, teacher Eleanor Lawrence. Assisted by 3 local teacher trainers, 35 children aged 3 – 5 years old were shepherded and guided through their first year of school. Today there are 180 learner attending Preschool in our free standing Early Childhood Development (ECD) Centre, in 6 classrooms supported by a teaching staff of 12.
Our new Administration Block, renovated with money from our generous donors and the National Lottery Fund. The new building houses all our programs and ministries. We continue to serve as a refuge for all the residents of Westlake Village, like the lighthouse in the storm and will continue to support where we are needed.
Monday to Friday
08:00 to 16:00
Westlake Community Centre, Corner of Egret Street and Stibitz Street, Westlake, 7945
+27 21 702 1697