Providing free lunches for the children of Marikana

Marikana children were in a happy mood after having something to eat last week.

A non-governmental organisation brought joy to more than 40 children and their parents who live in Marikana informal settlement, when they were treated to nutritious food and soup.

The newly launched Ithembalethu Youth Foundation designed a programme to provide children living in informal settlements with free lunch once a month.

It was launched on Wednesday January 7.

Anathi Kana founder of the NGO said after observing the situation in the area, his organisation decided to help the needy.

“We launched the feeding scheme because we’ve noticed there is a lot of poverty, especially in Marikana. Kids from the area are going to the nearest shops to help customers so they can put something on the table. In the process they drop out of school,” he said.

The NGO relies on people’s help and one shop from Philippi for donations. It said it hopes to expand the scheme to seniors too.

“We will do the feeding scheme once a month for now because of funding. We hope to expand it to three times a week so that we can try to fight hunger, poverty and unemployment.

“We hope that feeding children will have a positive impact on crime fighting. Children do crime because they are hungry. In years to come we plan to do something big,” he said.

He added that the aim of the scheme is to help build a better Marikana.

“Should we have better funding, we want to roll out a skills initiative focusing more on the seniors of the communities. We want to provide skills to people of the area too,” he concluded.

Marikana resident Thembile Mbumbulu made a call to various businesses and organisations to partner with Ithembalethu for this initiative, adding that crime was rife in the area because of poverty.

“We are grateful to this young organisation for what they are trying to achieve. But this is a big area to feed all its children. They will need other organisations. But big up to them for trying hard to help,” he said.