Warming hearts

2016-08-02 06:00
Women taking action treated 67 homeless men and women to a Spur breakfast to honour the legacy of Nelson Mandela to help those that are less forunate.

Women taking action treated 67 homeless men and women to a Spur breakfast to honour the legacy of Nelson Mandela to help those that are less forunate.

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In answer to the call by Nelson Mandela for mankind to unite and make a change in the lives of the disadvantaged, Women Taking Action, a non-profit organisation, treated 67 homeless men and women to a free breakfast at the Spur in Plumstead.

A member of the organisation based in the USA funded the meal with other Women Taking Action members purchasing scarves for the guests.

Most of the guests who were from the streets of the southern suburbs could be seen making their way to Plumstead with trolleys. Others were collected by members and friends of Women Taking Action.

“On arrival at the restaurant, they parked their trolleys outside the entrance to Spur while others left valuables unattended at their allotted “spots” in order to have a free meal. Most of them arrived somewhat uncertain as to whether the invitation to breakfast was authentic but the warm welcome given them by Women Taking Action soon alleviated all doubts,” says Shirley Paulse, founder and chairperson of Women Taking Action.

Heinrich, a homeless man from the Diep River area, attended with a few friends and was visibly moved by the one-time opportunity to have breakfast at a restaurant.

“It was really a beautiful morning. They had a wonderful time. Guests were seen leaving the restaurant with serviettes filled with bread left behind from the breakfast, making it crystal clear that for most the sad reality was that the breakfast was going to be their only meal for the day,” she added.

As they had their breakfast they shared on the hardships of being on the streets and how they take each day as it comes.

One of the guest, Najma, explained that she has called the area in front of the Plumstead Train Station her home for the last nine years and, teary-eyed, explained how her boyfriend had been murdered just two months earlier in a fight with friends.

Nathan Williams, an advocate specialising in labour law, welcomed the guests on behalf of Women Taking Action and explained that the reason for the organisation arranging the event was more than just a celebration of Nelson Mandela’s birthday – it was to feed the body, mind and the soul through giving and fellowship with each other.

“Valuable lessons could be learnt from wise leaders like Nelson Mandela, who understood diversity and knew that no matter our differences in age, background, language, religion or culture, we were all the same by virtue of our humanity. We all have our battles, but are united by our blood, our strengths, our weaknesses and our emotions,” says Williams.

The breakfast was brought to a close with a noticeably emotional Paulse calling members to join her in handing out gifts of warm scarves to the guests as they left the venue.

“Spending such valuable time with the less fortunate was a blessing. Women Taking Action is intent on doing a great deal more for the less fortunate,” she says.

V To support the organisation in making a change in the lives of the less fortunate, visit their website www.womentakingaction.org


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