Disabled group feeds the hungry

Vukuzenzele Physically Disabled Peoples Association members Nomawethu Mgedezi, James Soganga, Michael Mtandana, Nondumiso Wowo, Nombeko Mbanga and Norinki Khwatsha with some of the children benefiting from the soup kitchen.

Members of the Nyanga-based Vukuzenzele Physically Disabled People’s Association were moved to help children who were going hungry during lockdown.

The association’s vice-chairperson, James Soganga, said most of the children in their area attended schools where they were normally fed twice a day.

But with schools being closed during lockdown, they no longer had access to these feeding initiatives.

“We see them play outside every day and we know some have not eaten and will do so only when parents return from work – if they are lucky,” said Mr Soganga.

He said the organisation took to decision to feed the children in solidarity with the community which is facing the onslaught of Convid-19 pandemic.

“We are also sending a message that being disabled must not discourage us from giving out help where we can,” he said.

Chairperson Michael Mntandana said the soup kitchen was run twice a week because they were paying for the food with their own money.

“We would appreciate it if someone can help us so that we can cook more food and feed more children.

“At the moment we are feeding about 90 children on Tuesdays and Thursdays,” he said.

He added that the organisation had 40 members in the Mau Mau area who regularly met to discuss ways of making a positive contribution in the community, uplift and upskill themselves.

Nyanga Development Forum’s Khwezi Tyatyam hailed the group’s action saying that more needed to be done to fight poverty.

“It’s really sad to see children hungry and the lockdown, though necessary, has impacted a lot of families. Parents who do menial jobs are at home with not enough money to put bread on the table,” said Mr Tyatyam.

He called on the community to help and work with Vukuzenzele to ensure that children were fed.

His sentiments were echoed by Gwen Manikivana who also serves on the Nyanga Development Forum.

“It’s a good effort on their part because really these children get hungry,” she said.