AS we celebrate Women’s Month, Lydia Hlophe (50) wants to make a change on Women’s Day by providing less fortunate women with food and goodie bags. She was born and raised in KwaMashu J Section then later moved to KwaNyuswa after she got married. “I matriculated in 1991 from John Langalibalele Dube High School in KwaMashu. In 1992 I furthered my studies in early childhood development then did a few short courses that year. “In 1993 I got married then moved to Clermont where we later built a house in KwaNyuswa. In 1994 I worked at a hotel in Botha’s Hill for four years, however things did not work out. I then got a job as a domestic worker from 2009 until 2013.“While working as a domestic worker I helped disadvantaged community members by giving them soup. It was sad to see so many people being killed by HIV/Aids. Grandmothers were left to take care of their grandchildren and many families went hungry so I felt the need to change the situation.”Hlophe founded Yenzanathi Community Organisation in 2012 to help community members in need of help. “I come from a loving family and my dad taught me a lot about loving and caring for people. “After my mom left my dad and my nine siblings it was hard, but my father played an important role in our lives and made sure we were well fed and educated. He made sure we never missed school. Fortunately my mom came back after my dad died.“I remember when my dad bought his first motorbike because he worked as a messenger. He would take each one of us for a ride and we would take turns in riding it. It was the greatest experience ever. “I find it hard to understand why people rape their children. I lived with my dad and brothers in a two-roomed house and they never looked at me in a funny way - they protected and loved me.” Hlophe’s wish is to see women rise. “My organisation supports mostly women and I have arranged an event on Women’s Day that will basically be for women. I want to encourage them, teach them how to be independent. I want to bring hope to their lives, and I want to make a difference in their lives. “Our organisation has grown tremendously. Shoprite wants to come on board after management saw our work on growing vegetables - they want to train women in gardening. “I would be delighted if business, churches and other organisations supported us with toiletries, goodie bags, note pads and pens. I have 35 senior citizens and my wish is to give them blankets, socks and toiletries. “We welcome any kind of support. A nation without women is a dead nation, so we need to cherish and care for them,” said Hlophe.For more information, contact Hlophe on 073 122 2632.