An NPO based in Kwa-Thema Ext 3 (Marikana), that offers food to underprivileged kids seeks donations. It is founded by Bongekile Zulu, Fikile Shandu, Zweli Myeni (who is also a community leader), Nomsa Dlamini, Nomcebo Methula and Nothando Mdluli.
The NPO currently has one sponsor called ‘Kids Haven’ which is based in Benoni. It is a charity organisation that is established to take care of and protect children. Bongekile Zulu, who is the main founder, mentioned how her love for her community made her start this initiative. “I would often see other communities being offered food parcels on TV, I then thought about how writing to an organisation might help our community as we do have needy families here. I sent Kids Haven an email stating that we have needy people in our communities, younger kids who don’t have parents and unemployed elders who depend on grants for survival. They got back to us and they offered food parcels and at some point, they introduced programs like gardening or parenting for us to do then they gave us food parcels based on their assessment criteria and how well we did our program tasks,” said Zulu. She added by saying that although they are all unemployed, they thought it would be best if they took steps in helping the community.
“We get food from Kids Haven only on Fridays. Unfortunately, that’s the time we get to give our community food as well. Our aim is to offer food to the kids but we sometimes have older people coming and ‘nyaope’ addicts. We don’t deny them anything but we’re trying to ensure that these kids have something to eat, as some of them live with their young siblings. At times, these siblings don’t even look after their younger siblings and you find that these kids depend on one meal for a whole day. It’s tougher with schools being closed because at least then they’d eat twice or thrice a day from their school feeding schemes,” uttered Methula.
The NPO has been possibly operating for 3 months and they are currently waiting to have an NPO certificate. Anyone who is willing to donate is free to do so. “We use our money to buy some things and it’s quite tough because we’re all unemployed. We’d like donations, especially on things like a stove, food, electricity and clothes for these kids. It’s very disheartening seeing some of the kids cry because food is finished and they have turned back home on empty stomachs. Any form of assistance would be helpful to us and it will be held in the highest regard. No child deserves to go to bed hungry, especially now that food prices have increased due to the looting that took place in our country,” concluded Shandu.
Anyone willing to assist may contact Bongekile Zulu on 073 842 8490 or Fikile Shandu on 063 217 7719.
By Palesa Ndinisa