Lucretia Splinters: The Woman Using Facebook to Create Positive Change in Cape Town

Lucretia Splinters: The Woman Using Facebook to Create Positive Change in Cape Town

  • Lucretia Splinters founded The Official Ocean View/Slangkop Group, a Facebook community hub that addresses poverty
  • Ocean View has a population of 42,000 people and faces social issues such as unemployment, drug use, gangs and violence
  • Her success has been attributed to her ability to connect, advertise, and communicate directly with members of her community through Facebook groups
  • The #IAmBecauseWeAre campaign sees Meta partnering with digital publications and creators in Sub-Saharan Africa to celebrate, inspire and showcase the power and impact of building digital communities

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Lucreatia Splinters tackles poverty in Cape Town with META's support
Lucretia Splinters is leading community-based interventions in Ocean View with the support of META. Screenshot: Facebook
Source: Facebook

Lucretia Splinters is a woman on a mission to make a difference in her community. She is the founder of The Official Ocean View/Slangkop Group. This Facebook community hub is dedicated to addressing the poverty and deprivation within the historically underinvested area of Cape Point in South Africa.

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"The goals for the community [in the next year] is to extend the current issues we face. To continue empowering and uplifting through skills development. Also, to create more cohesion within the community," she said

A brief history of Ocean View and its current state

Located approximately 45 kilometres from Cape Town, the township of Ocean View was established during the late 1960s to 1970s under the Group Areas Act, which mandated the forced relocation of all coloured people from the "white communities" of Simon's Town, Fish Hoek, and Noordhoek to this settlement. Ironically named Ocean View, the residents were uprooted from their previous sea-side homes and views.

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According to local community organisation Living Hope, Ocean View has a population of 42 000 people living in brick houses and apartments. Housing remains problematic, as many homes are overcrowded with extended families living together. Backyard dwellers, where adult children illegally build or buy a Wendy house and put it up in their parents' yard, exacerbate this issue. Life is challenging for residents, with widespread unemployment, drug use, alcoholism, gangs, prostitution, dysfunctional families, and violence.

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The local drug culture, particularly the sale of a drug called tik (crystal meth) for as little as R10, is destroying thousands of lives, with children as young as primary school age being caught up in this problem. Gangs and violence are rife, with Ocean View having a high crime rate, and gangs are the primary source of violence in the community as they try to control the drug trade and prostitution industry.

Despite Ocean View's many social problems, some residents are starting to rise and fulfil the potential that has been suppressed for decades.

Lucreatia's work in Ocean View has brought people together to make a positive change

Through her work with this group, Lucretia has built an online opportunity hub that provides food drives, education and upskilling workshops, and employment opportunities for people in the area.

Her efforts have not gone unnoticed.

In 2022, she was selected to participate in the Facebook Accelerator Programme, which recognises and supports innovative community leaders using the platform to impact their communities positively. Her selection is a testament to the power of social media in helping to create positive change in the world.

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One of the keys to Lucretia's success has been her ability to connect, advertise, and communicate directly with community members through the groups. They have helped create online support systems that would otherwise be difficult to establish without the tools and resources available through Facebook and other Meta platforms.

Bronwyn Williams, who is part of the feeding and recreational program, said:

"I have a soup kitchen from home. I do a lot of sports with kids and we have homework classes after school. The community gains a lot with our group being very active. People can be fed instead of partaking in crime."

Lucretia's story is a powerful reminder of the transformative potential of social media. By providing a platform for community leaders to connect and share resources, social media platforms are helping to create a more connected and supportive world. As more people like her continue to leverage the power of these platforms for good, we can look forward to a brighter future for all.

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CPUT media lecturer bagged PhD at UCT while mothering 3 kids

In other stories of inspiring women, Briefly News reported on a strong mother residing in Cape Town who was grinding hard to balance her career as a media lecturer at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) with raising three boys.

Despite being a determined and resilient mother, Sisanda explains that raising a young family while building her career is a challenge:

"I think the biggest challenges are that, within academia, even though there is a desire to attract more women and more black women, there are no policies in place that make that process as easy as it could be."

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Source: Briefly News

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