Pots run empty at soup kitchen

2016-07-20 06:00
BELINDA VAN ROOYEN (left), a volunteer, and Mmabatho Watermeyer of the Sol Plaatje Social Development Unit dish up food for the community at the soup kitchen. Photos: Boipelo Mere

BELINDA VAN ROOYEN (left), a volunteer, and Mmabatho Watermeyer of the Sol Plaatje Social Development Unit dish up food for the community at the soup kitchen. Photos: Boipelo Mere

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THE Kopanelo Care and Soup Kitchen has already started laying the foundation of their vision in Galeshewe.

This non-profit organisation (NPO) already started serving the first few meals through its soup kitchen during June.

However, the big pots have run empty, as there is no longer any food available to feed the community of Kagisho, John Daka Phase 2 and a part of Club 2 000 in Ward 17.

The disappointed and frustrated owner of the soup kitchen, Rev. Dennis Thole, has been left running around trying to secure funds in order to continue the programme, as there is a dire need for the soup kitchen in his ward.

According to Thole, he realised, upon the first day of the soup kitchen, the difference that it made in the lives of many, especially the elderly.

“Even though there is a great need in our community, it is tough at this stage to prepare the meal, as there is no food.

“The initial plan was to serve meals on a daily basis, but we started it off on Tuesdays only, because we do not have stable sponsorship or funding yet,” he said.

According to him, meals were only served for the first two months, which he said was all thanks to sponsorship of the Sol Plaatje Municipality’s Social Development Unit, who gave them a shopping voucher.

Pick n Pay in Galeshewe also reached out and donated food.

The Kopanelo Care Centre and Soup Kitchen was initially started after the realisation of the many social ills surrounding the community of Ward 17.

Crime, gangsterism and substance and alcohol abuse are reported to have absorbed the youth in the area, as there are complaints of a lack of recreational facilities.

Thole, in partnership with two members of the community, decided to open the NPO as an intervention.

The Sol Plaatje Municipality allocated a piece of land to set up the soup kitchen on a temporary basis.

“There used to be a soup kitchen, but it closed down a few years ago. That left a gap, as there are elderly people, as well as school children, who really benefitted from it,” he added.

He said there were also plans in place to open an after-care centre where they could help learners to do their projects and homework after school.

The after-school programmes will continue during the holidays and will also keep the children safe and occupied after its establishment.

The reverend singled out an incident where three children, between the ages of four and 11 years old, had been raped by a neighbour in 2015.

“Those are some of the incidents that we would like to prevent. We have big plans to get involved with the youth in our ward, because they tend to get up to no good due to frustration, which also leads them to alcohol.

“Our programmes will be a form of intervention, as they will keep their minds busy as they interact with their peers.

“The high rate of unemployment and teenage pregnancy has to become a thing of the past.

“Our own youth are the ones who get involved in break-ins and continue to abuse alcohol in broad daylight, because it is made available to them.”

The NPO is looking forward to working hand in hand with government and the private sector in improving the living conditions within their community.

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