Beulah Fredericks

Synergos Senior Fellow & Director, The Community Development Foundation Western Cape

Beulah Denise Fredericks is the Director of The Community Development Foundation Western Cape (formally, the Western Cape Foundation for Community Work), an organization set out to play a mediating and facilitating role by strengthening relationships and building partnerships within communities, with donors and other development players.

Ms. Fredericks’ interests during her studies, focused on women and children within the context of the family and community, particularly focusing on issues relating to race, gender and poverty as structured within the social, political and economic environment in South Africa. One of her concerns was the fact that people and communities tend to remain in a survival mode, which have such a negative impact on life. Attempts to change this attitude became her passion.

After a short work encounter with the State Department as a probation officer, Ms. Fredericks joined the South Africa National Council for Alcoholism and Drugs (SANCA), where she worked for seven years as a social worker. Female alcoholism and developing support networks for children of alcoholic parents became her primary focus. Her task was to assist the team in developing intervention strategies and support networks.

Ms. Fredericks was born and raised in Cape Town, South Africa. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in social work from the University of the Western Cape, and her Masters of Arts in sociology at the University of Cape Town.

When she joined the Western Cape Foundation for Community Work (FCW) in the early 1980s, Ms. Fredericks found her niche as a community worker, and soon afterwards was appointed director. While working as a community worker, she researched the feasibility of alternate early childhood development (ECD) models and was instrumental in the formation and implementation of the Family in Focus Programme, the FCW flagship. Her main function as the director of FCW was to fulfill the overall objectives of the organization in carrying out its vision in relation to the mission statement. Key duties included: organizational development, policy development and training, fundraising and public relations, sustainability in terms of funding and development, human resources management, capacity building and training, consultation and supervision, community participation and decision making, forging partnerships/consortia, advocacy and lobbying, vision and forward planning.