Residents grow veggies to combat hunger


MEMBERS of the Sonke Siyafana (We are all the same) non-profit organisation have big hearts.

They wake up early each morning and roll up their sleeves to help poor people by planting small vegetable gardens for needy residents of the Shayamoya township in Kokstad, free of charge.

The 22 members are not prepared to sit back and watch while poor people sleep on empty stomachs, so they started a small vegetable garden in each and every poor household.

This came about after they noticed a large number of communities that were living under difficult conditions and found that hunger is a reality in the area.

Nkosinathi Mbongela, chairperson of the organisation said, “It is painful to see families living without food and children attending schools with empty stomachs. That is why we decided to help. Our communities were not supposed to live in such painful conditions,” said Mbongela.

He said a lot of work needed to be done to help poor people in Shayamoya, as many are severely suffering.

“Our aim is to change the lives of poor people for the better.

“We are sick and tired of watching children of poor people walking to school without shoes or even lunch-boxes,” said Mbongela.

He said their organisation survives by asking for seed donations and school uniforms from local businesses.

Mbongela said they need more seeds as there are many families living in unbearable conditions.

“We don’t just give them seeds, but we are using our spades to cultivate the land because some of them do not have the power to do it for themselves,” said Mbongela.

He said among the veggies they are planting were spinach, cabbage, potatoes, maize, onion, tomatoes and many more veggies.

Mbongela said they not only help needy people, but also people living with HIV/Aids and the elderly.

However, secretary of the organisation, Thobile Dlomo said they are still in need of more donations.

“We are trying to address problems facing our people and make sure the food security programme is going forward.

He said they identify families by paying visits to them and interviewing them.

“Most people of Shayamoya are unemployed and they are not even receiving a grant,” concluded Dlomo.

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