Home­less fed and cared for this Christ­mas

The Sunday Independent - - METRO - MANYANE MANYANE [email protected]

THE City of Joburg and non-profit or­gan­i­sa­tions are do­ing their bit to spread the spirit of giv­ing to the home­less ahead of Christ­mas Day.

The city, in part­ner­ship with Real Life Church, last week shared fes­tive cheer with the less for­tu­nate at the old Wind­sor West Recre­ational Cen­tre.

Wind­sor West coun­cil­lor Bev­er­ley Weweje said the ges­ture was part of the city’s long-term plan. “We’re do­ing this be­cause we are striv­ing for a clean en­vi­ron­ment with­out peo­ple liv­ing on the streets one day. I’m hop­ing the si­t­u­a­tion will change one day,” said Weweje.

Pas­tor Mark Ros­souw from Real Life Church said home­less peo­ple de­serve love ir­re­spec­tive of their cir­cum­stances. “This started a year ago dur­ing our clean-up in the com­mu­nity. We re­alised that there were peo­ple liv­ing in old build­ings with­out food, elec­tric­ity and wa­ter... And some don’t have fam­i­lies. They de­serve to be treated well. That’s why we have the city to help these peo­ple,” said Ros­souw.

Mean­while, Holy Trin­ity Catholic Church vol­un­teers in Braam­fontein did their best to cope with the hun­dreds who turned up to re­ceive their Christ­mas lunch and gifts. And chair­per­son of the pas­toral coun­cil Gopolang Moises was ex­cited to host the event.

“This is be­cause Christ­mas is a time for giv­ing and shar­ing. As part of that spirit we or­gan­ised this event and give peo­ple an op­por­tu­nity to be our guests. We do have such pro­grammes on a weekly ba­sis, but not on the scale that you see to­day,” said Moises, adding that they were grate­ful to the vol­un­teers.

One of the re­cip­i­ents, Alex Bote, 36, said he felt the love through the ges­ture. Bote, who hails from Zim­babwe, came to Joburg in Jan­uary in search of greener pas­tures. “I was forced to live on the streets as I strug­gled to get a job. I can’t go back home be­cause I want to stand on my own like other men out there. I am happy that there are peo­ple who care about us,” he said.

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