29 October 2021
“If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day—if you teach him to fish, you feed him for many days.”
I walked into a huge hall where over 30 children were laughing at a skit being performed about the dangers of drinking. Rose* was dressed up as an old drunk man and making the children laugh over and over at her silly antics. As silly as the skit was it held a serious message for many of the children, whose lives are heavily impacted by the effects of alcoholic parents and neighbors.
Rose is no stranger to a life of hardship due to a neglectful, alcoholic mother and other abusive relatives. However, she has more determination and joy in her, than any other 18-year old I have met before. She is currently in her final year of high school and set on getting herself and her three younger siblings out of their community; a place that leads youth down a road of teenage pregnancy and drinking.
To help put food on the table, she has just started a food stall outside of the small tin shack she shares with her siblings. She was bubbling over with excitement at the chance to help her family (her brother is 5 and her sisters are 11 and 15), as they often go without food, and other necessities (until recently, Rose and her two other sisters were all sharing one pair of shoes between them). Her dream is to be an Emergency Medical Technician and she feels that with this new business of hers, she is one step closer to providing a better life for herself and her siblings.
Thanks to our ministry partners we have been able to supply eight ladies (single moms of multiple children and/or child-headed families) with the products they need to start their own food stalls/businesses this month. The ladies were trained on how to budget their money and use their profits to purchase more supplies, etc. Each lady pays back (R15/$1) into the Community Empowerment Program for another mom to start a small business to help feed her children.
The ladies are selling: Skopo (cows head meat, spiced with chili), chickens (pluck and prepare for selling), Pap & Vleis plates (A meal made up of mealie meal/corn and meat), and kotas (a sandwich with think slices of bread with a variety of toppings).
(*Rose – name changed for her protection).