Feeding kitchen gives hope

2019-06-18 06:00
The backbones of Soffiyah Feeding Scheme, from left are Zaahir Michael, Izaaz Petersen, Zainuniessa Waggie, Saffiyah Brenner and Munier van Wyk. PHOTO: Nomzamo yuku

The backbones of Soffiyah Feeding Scheme, from left are Zaahir Michael, Izaaz Petersen, Zainuniessa Waggie, Saffiyah Brenner and Munier van Wyk. PHOTO: Nomzamo yuku

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From the pain of losing a grandchild, Zainuniessa Waggie of Kewtown realised how vulnerable a child’s life is and saw the need the create a safe space for the disadvantaged in her community.

She converted her pain into a feeding kitchen four years ago. Waggie and five other founding members of the Soffiyah Feeding Scheme serve and accommodate 25 children during the day.

Sofiyyah is the name of Waggie’s late granddaughter, and the scheme was so named as she wanted to keep her legacy

The number has since increased to 70 children and they cater for learners and children still at home from the age of two.

Other members are residents who have been there from the start and are just as passionate about the community outreach as Waggie is.

They recently had a special Eid celebration on Wednesday 5 June. Waggie said it was the first time the kitchen received a clothing donation for the children. They also had a special day to celebrate the end of the second school term on Thursday 13 June where they gave party packs and wished them well for the holiday. The scheme also closes during the holidays.

Soffiyah serves two meals a day, breakfast and lunch and prepares snacks for children to take to school.

Though she does not have confirmation, she is convinced that her contribution to the children’s lives has inspired them and the attitude towards academics has improved.

Waggie said these are children facing different social challenges as the community has a high unemployment and substance abuse rate. Waggie says having something to look forward to gives children hope and has taught them good manners and sharing.

At about 13:00, when the children arrive from school they greet, queue for a meal with the young ones sitting on the floor and the high school learners sitting on chairs.

Except for feeding these children they also coach them about life in general and allow them to confide if needs be, trying to make them feel at home.

They do not have any sponsorship, the food and the gifts they sometimes give to children comes from donations from their friends and family. Even the lack of support from their community does not discourage them as they say it gives them satisfaction knowing they are making a difference in the lives of the “future leaders.”

Resident Saffiyah Brenner has been volunteering since the beginning. She is one of the five people that bought into the idea the moment Waggie approached her because she could see the need.

Zubairi Peters, one of the children, told People’s Post he was thankful because “she feeds us, take care of us, she is a good lady. Thank you for everything.”

V To donate towards the Soffiyah Feeding Scheme call 082 411 822 or visit their Facebook Page.

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