This week, we celebrate the contribution that Siena Charles is making in the community of Kylemore, Stellenbosch. Siena celebrated her birthday earlier this week – Siena, we wish you a blessed new life year!

Siena Charles is well-known amongst her fellow Kylemore residents: not only as the generous heart and warm smile that greets one upon arrival at her tea garden, the ‘Beker & Bord’ (translated ‘Cup and Plate’), but even more so as the coordinator of the Kylemore Soup Kitchen.

Thanks to the support of Feeding in Action Stellenbosch and other local businesses, Siena and her team of volunteers prepare and serve meals to hundreds of children in need every week. Siena also tackles other projects throughout the year to uplift, inspire and celebrate the people of Kylemore.

Her annual Christmas parties have become legendary and every year, the number of excited little faces that arrive for the celebration just continues to grow. Last year, Siena also hosted a Women’s Day celebration as well as a special Christmas meal for the elderly of Kylemore.

Siena approaches individual and corporate sponsors to help make this happen. When her story reached the ears of a coffee shop in Germany, Ginger & Fred Café und Kultur, the owners and clientele were so touched that they have decided to ‘partner’ with Siena to help her bring even more joy to the community that lies so close to her heart.

Last year with the launch of Nedbank’s Proud of my Town fund in Stellenbosch, Siena – as a Nedbank client since the 1970s – became one of the ‘faces’ of the initiative which currently invests in Early Childhood Development centres in Stellenbosch.

If you would like to contribute to community development initiatives in Kylemore, please contact Sonya at or on 082 302 3886.

Kylemore is one of several areas across the Western Cape and South Africa that forms part of Nedbank’s Proud of my Town initiative – a first for corporate South Africa that seeks to transform communities in a manner that is sustainable and that mobilises community members to self-organise and accept responsibility for the ongoing transformation of their communities.