South Africa

Good Samaritans donate funds to help feed over 200 less-fortunate

Over 200 people were served meals in the disadvantaged community of Jeffsville as part of a Meals With Love initiative recently.

Jeffsville is an informal settlement area in Atteridgeville, west of Pretoria.

The area is riddled with disadvantaged community members.

The NPO, Linkage Foundation, said children from five to elderly residents were fed on Saturday, June 1.

The Linkage Foundation has partnered with Jeffsville-based NPO Dipeu Tsa Tshwane since 2023.

Founder Violet Phiri said they fed over 200 people with money that ordinary people donated.

The organisation initially planned to feed 100 people, however, was able to feed double as many people with ample donations they received from good Samaritans.

Phiri said the donations assisted in supporting the foundation and impacting more lives.

“We started the Meals With Love initiative in 2023, where people were able to place contributions amounting to R6 000.

He said this year donations had stretched to R8 000.

“As a team, we allocate these funds to buying groceries, catering packages, juice, cups, and sweet treats for the day.

“We started the fundraising three to four months ago this year by creating a poster and asking for contributions on social media, from friends, and family.”

She said on the day, they held a leadership session to empower the leadership of the Dipeu Tsa Tshwane organisation where they engaged with them to understand their challenges and mapped out solutions.

“The entire community joined us to share the Meals With Love and the day was a huge success as we fed over 200 people.”

Phiri said the day would not have been a success without Dipeu Tsa Tshwane.

She said they searched for a group in the community of Atteridgeville to share a meal. Certain organisations were sceptical, however, they found Dipeu Tsa Tshwane organisation.

“The name of the organisation captured us, and upon our talks, they welcomed us with open hearts,” she said.

According to Phiri, the foundation’s benefit is building a community – not only by sharing a meal with them but also by offering life and relationship coaching and mentoring services to empower them as leaders.

She said the goal is for the “Meals With Love” initiative to expand nationwide, empowering organisations on the ground with skills and shared meals.

Dipeu Tsa Tshwane founder and president Samuel Masilela said their community was overjoyed as less-fortunate families, disabled people, children and child-headed families were all served a warm meal.

“The meals were more than enough, breakfast and lunch were served and some even took food home,” he said.

Masilela said it is a good thing to work with organisations committed to and love for the community. He hopes all organisations that want to partner with Dipeu Tsa Tshwane do the same.

Jeffsville resident Kedibone Noka and community leader Victor Phalane were grateful.

Noka said it was exciting to see smiles on the children’s faces as most of the families in this community are disadvantaged and it is hard to make ends meet.

She hopes that more organisations like the Linkage can visit Jeffsville regularly to help with basic needs such as food and clothes because the community is in need.

Phalane said there are a lot of children in the community and they tend to spend the whole day without eating so the programme really helped and their parents are grateful.

“I wish the organisation can grow and come back to help because the community is struggling and can use more help like this organisation handed over the weekend.”

The Linkage Foundation have more planned initiatives and is seeking collaboration from fast food outlets and other organisations.

The following initiatives are being planned:

– June: Youth Day – Sanitary and Deodorant Drive, Father’s Day Celebration
– May/June/July: Winter Drive – Blankets, Soup Drive, School Jersey Drive
– August: Women’s Day Celebration
– September: Spring Retreat – Hiking, Married Couples’ Retreat
– October/November: The Linkage Foundation Family Day: Everyone the foundation would have connected with during the year to share and celebrate growth.

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