Second-year Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) student Asavela Peko has opened his own soup kitchen to help feed abandoned students at CPUT residences, as well as help get rid of hunger in his own community, Delft, Cape Town.
The passionate 28-year-old told Move! that he decided to open the soup kitchen because he saw that the abrupt implementation of the Covid-19 lockdown would cripple those in poor communities.
“The sudden implementation of the lockdown without proper consideration of the poor came as a disadvantage to communities and I saw that it would escalate the poverty in the communities, so I took it upon myself to start the initiative of the Sisipho Soup Kitchen,” Asavela tells Move!.
He says he is fortunate to be sponsored by some generous groups such as YoungPeople@Work, Rainbow of Hope as well as the central student representative council of CPUT to name a few.
Asavela says the soup kitchen operates on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays in Delft. While on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays they feed students across CPUT residences in Cape Town.
“We feed between 50-100 students at CPUT and we feed more people than we can count in the townships, however [on] Monday the 20th [April] we fed 131 students, which is a huge milestone for us and we are thrilled about it,” he says.
Asavela says he is appreciative for all the help and assistance he gets.
“We have over 20 volunteers, who on a daily basis dedicate their time to the Sisipho Soup Kitchen, and Rainbow of Hope often sends its passionate team to assist us to make a change.”
Some of the challenges the soup kitchen faces, according to Asavela, is that sometimes the food runs out before they can feed everyone. Furthermore, he says the soup kitchen has been well received but some people are less appreciative.
Asavela says it is his passion for his community and for the well-being of others that made him take a stand and serve communities and students. He is aware of the struggle individuals who are less fortunate endure on a daily basis, so he believes making a difference begins with taking initiative.
“People should not wait on the government or politicians to bring change, but they should start with the little that they have to avoid suffering and incite hope in our communities,” he says.
As more people take initiative in assisting those who are less fortunate, we are delighted to see that even in trying times the spirit of Ubuntu continues to move people to make a difference and lend a helping hand.