Hunger given its march­ing or­ders in KwaNyuswa

Vuk'uzenzele - - Women's Month - Hlengiwe Ngob­ese

ONE WOMAN’S car­ing has cre­ated a self-help project that has been up­lift­ing a ru­ral KwaZulu-Na­tal com­mu­nity for over a decade.

The de­sire to care for others prompted Ly­dia Hlophe from KwaNyuswa in KwaZulu-Na­tal to quit her job as a do­mes­tic worker and start a com­mu­nity up­lift­ment project to help those un­able to help them­selves.

As a small ges­ture of kind­ness, Hlophe be­gan of­fer­ing hot meals to those with noth­ing.

Very soon, she went from feed­ing 40 peo­ple to 200, and in 2010 reg­is­tered Yen­zanathi Com­mu­nity Up­lift­ment Pro­gramme as a non-profit or­gan­i­sa­tion.

As a re­sult of Aids and other ill­nesses, many house­holds in her com­mu­nity are child-headed. In others, el­ders try and raise their grand­chil­dren as best they can with the lit­tle they have.

Hlophe and other com­mu­nity mem­bers started a food gar­den, which sup­plies the feed­ing scheme with fresh veg­eta­bles.

“Our soup kitchen serves break­fast and lunch but as soon as we get enough spon­sors, we will add din­ner. At the mo­ment, we are un­able to buy food like maize meal and bread and rely on donors,” she said

In ad­di­tion to the soup kitchen and veg­etable gar­den, Yen­zanathi has lay chick­ens as well as an in­ter­net café that gives younger mem­bers of the com­mu­nity ac­cess to in­for­ma­tion.

Eggs and veg­eta­bles are sold to raise funds or put to­wards meals, and the gar­den serves as a train­ing ground for the de­vel­op­ment of sub­sis­tence farm­ers.

The in­ter­net café was started when the Depart­ment of So­cial De­vel­op­ment do­nated a re­fur­bished con­tainer with com­put­ers, fax ma­chines, print­ers and copiers.

Soc­cer as a way of keep­ing chil­dren off the streets is an­other of Yen­zanathi’s projects and Hlophe and her team have man­aged to source soc­cer kits for Un­der 12, 15 and 19 teams. The boys also ben­e­fit from the soup kitchen and are helped with their home­work at the cen­tre.

Hlophe said that fund­ing re­mains an on­go­ing chal­lenge. “Spon­sors come and go,” she said, ap­peal­ing to pri­vate and pub­lic en­ti­ties to come and see the work be­ing done by Yen­zanathi.

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