Correctional Services reach out to community

2015-08-06 06:01
Likhona Antoni sits proudly in her new wheelchair. With her are Correctional Services deputy Regional Commissioner Nozipiwo Dumbela, Regional Commissioner Nkosinathi Breakfast, her parents Lindiwe and Whitey, Kouga Mayor Daphne Kettledas and Sindi Me

Likhona Antoni sits proudly in her new wheelchair. With her are Correctional Services deputy Regional Commissioner Nozipiwo Dumbela, Regional Commissioner Nkosinathi Breakfast, her parents Lindiwe and Whitey, Kouga Mayor Daphne Kettledas and Sindi Me

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THE Department of Correctional Services’ Eastern Cape Regional Commissioner, Nkosinati Breakfast, handed over two brand-new refrigerators and a large quantity of groceries to Nokya “Aunty Aggie” Louw, founder of Aggie’s Soup Kitchen and Home of Peace in Sea Vista at a ceremony July 31 to commemorate Nelson Mandela Month.

Breakfast said that they had learnt of the soup kitchen last year when members of the sports council visited St Francis Bay to compete in a golf tournament.

“We were so touched when Aunty Aggie told us about the work she was doing. At that time she didn’t even have a fridge and had to depend largely on discarded vegetables to feed the hungry children who visited her home.

“I promised her that we would be back in Mandela Month with a gift to help make her soup kitchen sustainable. Today we are making good on that promise and commit to continue supporting her. Moving forward we would like to find a place where we can cultivate vegetables for the soup kitchen,” he said.

Despite the cold and rainy weather, the little soup kitchen and its ground was packed to capacity with representatives of the Kouga Region’s Department of Correctional Services and members of the community. Kouga Municipality Mayor, Daphne Kettledas, and local Ward Councillor, Ben Rheeder, were also in attendance.

Breakfast stated in his address that he planned to ensure that the Department of Correctional Services in the Kouga region adopts Aunty Aggie’s Soup Kitchen as an ongoing project to support with periodic contributions of vegetables and other groceries.

Both he and Kettledas praised Aunty Aggie and her team for their work in feeding the children of this impoverished community.

Aunty Aggie responded with a prayer and thanks. The donation of the refrigerators means that she will be able to keep food fresh and avoid much wastage.

The next stop on the programme was Jeffreys Bay to deliver a wheelchair to a 13-year-old girl whose life was turned upside down eight months ago when she contracted a brain disease which left her unable to breathe, see, talk or walk.

Likhona Antoni spent months in the Intensive Care Unit of a PE hospital. Doctors warned that her chance of survival was slim, but the little girl made a miraculous recovery and arrived back home last week.

While Likhona can breathe, see and talk again, she cannot yet walk. Her prayers for a wheelchair had hardly left her lips when the call came that Correctional Services was looking for a beneficiary for a wheelchair, and so she became part of the Mandela Month programme on Friday.

Tears of joy flowed freely when Correctional Services arrived, brass band and all, in front of her home with the wheelchair.

They furthermore handed over a wheelchair to Olihpant from Joubertina at the Humansdorp Hospital.

“I never cease being amazed by the incredible work Correctional Services do in our communities. They are a team who knows how to touch lives, and I am certain that it would have filled Tata Mandela’s heart with joy to witness these handovers,” said Kettledas.

These donations by the Department of Correctional Services came about in respect of Nelson Mandela Month where every individual is encouraged to take a humanitarian action and “donate 67 minutes of our time to help those in need.”

The South African Government has decided to celebrate the late Nelson Mandela’s life for the whole month of July by taking action and making a positive difference in the lives of others

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