Lovely food helps recall Tata
EIGHTY-SEVEN destitute families took a break from worrying about their daily challenge – albeit for a while – by being treated in honour of Mandela Day.
The families, some of whom live in makeshift shelters on the Yeoville Ridge while others squat in people’s garages or in corners of houses in Bertrams/Bez Valley, enjoyed a hot meal and a day of fun, courtesy of the Bienvenu Shelter for homeless women and children. The shelter also gives these families daily support by way of food parcels, school uniforms, stationery and clothes.
“But today they are having a treat of meat, chicken and fruit – things they do not often have, but we are doing it for the great man Mandela. This kind of food is not in their daily diets, so it is a real treat for them,” said Sister Kadia Prigol, head of the shelter.
Another 45 women and children live in the shelter.
Bienvenu also runs a baby centre for children up to 3 years old and a crèche for children between 3 and 6 years.
It also offers skills training to women such as dressmaking, hairdressing and manicuring.
The shelter is supported by the Jesuit Refugee Services (JRS) which assists them and takes in some of the destitute people if the shelter is full.
Father Lukosevicius Vaidas of the JRS said all the workers for the Mandela Day event were volunteers who also contributed financially.
He said the Jeppe police station offered assistance in training the women and children about safety and how to avoid drugs. The Catholic Cathedral’s department of pastoral care was also involved in yesterday’s event.
MANDELA DAY: Bertrams residents at Bienvenue Shelter.