It would seem that even the sun approved of our efforts, as it shone brightly on the opening of a new community kitchen in Heideveld on the Cape Flats on Monday, 15 December 2014. Local residents came out in force to celebrate the provison of this much-needed kitchen, which will offer meals to the poorest members of the community.
The new kitchen, which was made possible by Breadline Africa’s generous donors, operates twice a week and serves more than 750 meals to adults and children in and around the poverty-stricken areas of Heideveld, Cathkin, Valhalla Park and Manenberg.
One of the custodians of this exciting project is Pastor Isaac de Jongh, a local church leader, and during the opening event, he happily reminisced about his own childhood. He was one of ten children and he explained that although things were tough in his family, his mom always cooked extra portions when making family meals, to ensure that the children in the neighbourhood whose families were not able to feed them properly did not go hungry. He added that she would also regularly bake bread, making sure that all the children in the neighbourhood received a slice.
Pastor de Jongh’s mother was the driving force in their community and also helped to establish a much-needed clinic, bringing primary healthcare into a community that did not have the resources to travel to access health services. It is easy to see where Pastor de Jongh got his inspiration from – he greatly admired his mother for her hard work and dedication, and aspired to emulate her one day.
He was proud to follow in his mother’s footsteps and spent many hours in his kitchen at home, cooking pots of food, and with the help of his friends and community, he would serve the vulnerable homeless people who lived on the streets. He would also go into many informal settlements where poverty is rife and shared with those who do not have a meal – especially the children. Now, he and his team of community-based volunteers have a beautiful new kitchen with everything that they need to make nutritious meals for those in need.
A highlight of this happy day was when Ola arrived with Paddle Pop ice lollies to hand out to the children. A firm favourite with the youngsters, especially in the heat, they were welcomed and devoured in no time!
Pastor de Jongh could not find the words to express his gratitude for this great gift. He described it as an unbelievable, unimaginable experience, because something of this magnitude has never happened in this area and thanked Breadline Africa – and their generous donors – for bringing Christmas a bit earlier this year!
Written by Edna Titus