People's Post

Changing lives one meal at a time

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The group of men is on a mission to positively impact young people. PHOTO: supplied
The group of men is on a mission to positively impact young people. PHOTO: supplied

A group of men formerly from Salt River are on a mission to make sure young people do not make the same life choices they made years ago and are doing so one meal at a time.

Alwie Talip says he and 16 friends deci­ded to give back to the community by providing a warm meal to vulnerable people in society.

Talip says the idea was sparked when the group decided to have a reunion after 15 years.

He explains that at the reunion they discussed the desperate need for positive change for the youth of Salt River and surrounding areas.

“We were basically drug addicts and used to spend our time on street corners in Salt River, that’s how we all became friends. But we all grew up and went our separate ways and a few years ago we all met up again.”

Talip says he has always had a passion to help those living on the street.

“At one point in my life I was homeless, that’s how naughty I was. One of my friends and I decided to pitch the idea to our other friends, and they bought into it.”

He says they each contributed R100 and started looking for more donations to help them fill a 60 litre pot with food.

“I went to Epping market and one of my contacts there supplied me with a pocket of potatoes and a bag of onions. I approached some of the vendors there and asked them if they can donate anything towards this initiative. We used whatever donations we got and me made a pot of food.”

Talip explains that they did their first outreach on Sunday 5 June and served more than 100 people in Salt River with a warm meal.

“We want to show young people that we have been down that road and encourage them not to take those steps. The drugs that I was using and the drugs the young people are using today are completely different. I have been down that road, I have been to pri­son.”

Talip says they hope to visit a different community each month to continue their initiative.

“We are looking at giving food parcels to people who live in homes but do not have food. The more people we can reach the better.”

Hayden Wedel says their aim is to be a positive influence in the lives of young people.

“We want to give back to the community. We want to tell young people that there is more to life than gangsterism and drugs. There is hope. Just helping a friend and having your friend’s back.”

Talip says their aim is to register as a non-profit organisation (NPO).

But he says for now they are “doing what we can and welcome all donations so that we can continue to feed those in need”.

  •  To donate call 079 777 4740.

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