While the Covid-19 pandemic has been difficult for many, Velia Davids from Kensington has reason to smile as she now finally boasts her own non-profit company (NPC) called Velia’s Covid-19 Feeding Scheme; a goal she has been working hard towards for the past five years.
Davids has been feeding children and the elderly from her own pocket and says this has not been easy as only her husband is employed (“Keeping the hungry filled”, People’s Post, 24 March 2020).
Davids, who previously collaborated with a non-profit organisation named Guardians of the Galaxy, says she is delighted that her NPC is finally off the ground. But she admits that now the hard work continues.
For Davids, feeding the vulnerable is a matter close to her heart. She too was reliant on others for food as a child.
“When I cook it makes me happy. And I cook meals that I would eat too. I see myself in them as I know what it is like to go to bed on a hungry stomach.”
She feeds the homeless and those in informal settlements in the Kensington, Maitland, Vasco and Goodwood areas twice a week. “I have made it my mission to feed them,” explains Davids.
She explains that she chose the name Covid-19 Feeding Scheme because she believes that the pandemic brought people together.
“Covid-19 made people open their hearts and show kindness to those less fortunate. It changed people’s mindsets. It created opportunity for several feeding schemes to start – meaning people were being fed.”
Davids says she and her team, Bazil Bessick and Chantal Philander, came together for one common cause: to keep people fed.
Bessick says: “Doing community work is a passion we all share. We all have our different reasons for wanting to feed those in need. When we cook, we have fun doing it because we see it as a way of giving back to the community.”
Philander says the greatest challenge they face is community organisations not working together.
“If we all work together, we can achieve so much more and reach more people. The hunger issue in society is not going away anytime soon, so forming partnerships is crucial.”
Davids is appealing to local faith-based institutions for assistance. She thanked individuals who have continuously supported her and says it is through their contributions that she is able to make sure one person less goes without food.
She is appealing to corporates and organisations to assist her by donating either clothes or non-perishable food products.