Couple helps local children

2016-11-15 06:00
Virginia September with her daughter Natasha Pillay as they are dishing out for the children that Pillay feeds from their home.

Virginia September with her daughter Natasha Pillay as they are dishing out for the children that Pillay feeds from their home.

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Many children go to bed hungry because their families are living below the poverty line. Some children are even forced to go to school hungry.

With employment rife and seeing the struggle of some families in their community one married couple decided to help the vulnerable children in their area with a bowl of porridge.

Natasha and Daveraj Pillay from Hillview say they couldn’t sit and do nothing as they were aware that many children spent their days on an empty stomach.

“For two years me and my husband have been struggling to find work. We saw a huge need in the community and we decided to be feeding these children a bowl of porridge.

“We have been doing this from our own pockets and from the help that we get from family and friends. We started with 35 children, now we have over 180 children that we feed three times a week,” says Natasha.

Early birdShe wakes up around 04:00 on the days she has to prepare porridge, so that by the time these children come before school the meal is ready for them.

“Our gates are supposed to be opened at 06:30 but as early as 05:45 these children are here, already queuing for the food.

“It breaks my heart so much that these children have to be up early just for a bowl of porridge. Come rain, sunshine or thunder you will find them here.”

They hope to be able to feed these children every day, but for now they don’t have the means.

Since they started dishing out porridge in February they noticed that most of the children they serve don’t look or smell good.

“Most of the children that come here they don’t look so clean. Their uniforms are dirty, they smell funny and they don’t even comb their hair.

“So we have decided to do a toiletry drive as well so that we can give to these children. We also want to wash and style their hair on the day that we are going to do the handover. For the boys that want their hair cut, we will cut it.

“We are also calling for volunteers to help on the day. We will also give these children something to eat. We are pleading with anyone that can help us raise toiletries for the 100 boys and girls that we want to donate to,” says Natasha.

They are planning a handover for Friday 16 December.

Miss schoolNatasha says in talking with the children she feeds she found out that some girls miss school days because they don’t have sanitary towels.

“It’s so hurtful when a child tells you they have to stay at home because they don’t have pads. We want to help them. A child must not miss school because she doesn’t have sanitary towels. We are calling on everyone that can help us to come forward.”

For boys Natasha is collecting face cloths, soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, roll-on, deodorant spray and body lotion or aqueous cream.

She is also making up packs for girls to consist of face cloths, soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, roll-on, deodorant spray and body lotion or aqueous cream, sanitary towels and tissues.V To donate or volunteer contact Natasha on 082 888 1475 or natasha@cotministries.co.za.

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