Dishing out hope for kids

2019-02-26 06:01
Lenie BaileyPHOTOS: TIYESE JERANJI

Lenie BaileyPHOTOS: TIYESE JERANJI

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After serving the community for almost 16 years, a Seawinds resident will not be stopping anytime soon as filling children’s tummies makes her happy.

Lenie Bailey (69) says their community is struggling and at times children go without food for days.

Her wish is to ensure that most of the children are fed and no-one goes hungry.

Bailey suffers from a condition called conjunctivitis (pink eye), which has left her blind. If left untreated, pink eye can lead to corneal ulcers and blindness.

“Feeding children was a vision I had years ago. Children here were struggling, and they didn’t have anything to eat. Most of them would go to school without food. I knew I had to do something for them,” she says.

Bailey says about 10 years ago she had a dream of children walking in the streets shivering and hungry. “It was a rainy day and I approached them and they told me they were feeling cold and hungry. It was so real and when I woke up I just knew I had to help feed my community. That is how I started Bailey’s Soup Kitchen. I started cooking for my community. Things have been difficult, but we have held on. We never turn away children because there is no food – we always make a plan,” she says.

They feed children after school on Mondays and Wednesdays. “I’m really grateful for the volunteers that help us when we feed the children. My wish is to one day be able to pay them something little for all the hard work they do feeding the children. We are grateful for the journey we have travelled as Bailey’s Soup Kitchen and we are not going to stop now,” she says

Her son Selwyn says it is difficult. “For most of them the meal that we give them is the only meal for the day. We try our best but at times we struggle to get donations. We are appealing to whoever can help us to come on board and help us feed the community. We have become a solace for the children – after school they run to come here and they get whatever we can provide for the day. We want to give them bread, akhni, and fruits all the time but we can’t really do it as we don’t have the means,” he says.

V To make a donation to Bailey’s Soup Kitchen call 078 952 9156 or 021 701 0481.

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