Massive Christmas gatsby

From left, Reagan Isaacs, Haas Gasten, Corne Enslin and Theo De Bruin making a 30m-long gatsby.

More than 20 children from Nolungile Safety Children’s Home were treated to an early Christmas lunch on Saturday December 10, when a chain store and chicken producer came together to entertain them.

Management and staff of the two businesses made a 30 metre-long gatsby for the children and served it with drinks and other light meals.

The event was held to than community-based organisations making a difference in the community.

In addition to the meals, the store vowed to donate food parcels to the home in the coming weeks, continuing into the new year.

Store representative Zintle Plaatjie said they were touched when they heard of the plight of the home’s founder, Nolungile Banga.

Ms Banga, who could not hide her emotions, thanked God for her blessings and vowed to use her gifts wisely.

She said she had been perturbed by the number of children being abandoned and decided to quit her job in 2006 and use her home to offer them refuge.

But, she said, she was surviving on limited social services. The single mother of one said when she established the centre, she had used her life savings to clothe and feed the children. But, over the years, she has been battling to keep the doors of her centre open due to limited resources, she said, appealing to those who were able to, to extend a helping hand.

Ms Banga’s situation came to the attention of the store at beginning of this year, when she found a two-week old baby girl abandoned on the premises of the store.

She then told the management of her plight and that was the beginning of their relationship.

“When I started, I had three children, and now I have more than 26 children. Sometimes, when I get these children they don’t have birth certificates, which makes it difficult to for me get them grant and the money is not enough to take care of their daily needs.

“But I’m grateful for the support I have received from the two companies,” she said.

Sales manager for the chicken producers, Clement Christoffer, said this was the time of the year that children were pampered with gifts and good food, but for these children there was no one to provide that for them.

He said the 30 m long gatsby was the biggest they had made so far.

“The initiative was started recently. This forms part of the company’s mission, which strives to plough back into the community and honour community movers and shakers. The management and staff of both these companies have invited you and your family here today in recognition of the role you are playing in the lives of these children,” he said.