A place of hope and sustenance

2016-05-26 06:00
 The Elderly from Gugulethu and surrounds are catered for every third Wednesday. The scheme includes taking care of the frail and vulnerable           PHOTO: jl zwane church

The Elderly from Gugulethu and surrounds are catered for every third Wednesday. The scheme includes taking care of the frail and vulnerable PHOTO: jl zwane church

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JL Zwane Church’s initiative to assist in poverty alleviation in Gugulethu is fast gaining popularity.

Providing a properly cooked meal once a month for grandmothers who often have the added burden of raising their own grandchildren because of absent parenthood, is itself a seemingly unsurmountable challenge.

Every third Wednesday of the month, JL Zwane provides this cooked meal to the elderly and the frail and the broader community.

Reverend Theo Mayekiso says: “We started this initiative on a small scale, focussing on the elderly and the sick in our church, but now because the challenge of poverty affects everybody, we are now overwhelmed by people from around Gugulethu”

“Each time we have the lunch, the elderly people tell us stories of their hardships. They say they wished there was firewood for them to cook a meal because electricity is so expensive and their social grants are not enough to keep up.

Others would say they know of someone or a family in their neighbourhood who often have no food in their homes and are dependent on neighbours.

“There are also stories of the elderly who have to get up very early on prescription collection day and they will stand in long queues at the local clinic, which is very tiring.”

An elderly woman stated that “ Sometimes I want to blame God for letting us have children that I now have to look after as well as my grandchildren”

JL Zwane is now partnering with another NPO, Africa Unite in rolling out a home-based-care programme for the vulnerable, which will also educate the vulnerable about their rights.

The gathering of the elderly to receive the lunch, just highlighted once again the magnitude of poverty in our areas and this raises the question on how JL Zwane copes with this challenge. Assistance from government and stakeholders would be of greater help.

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