As South Africa moves into the level 4 Lockdown stage, it has become clear that we will have to wait out the demise of Covid-19 for many more months. It signals a time for South Africans to come together to find ways to support others less fortunate. This happening right now in Hanover Park and Sunnyside in Cape Town, where feeding programmes, initiated at grassroot level are giving hope – and a warm meal – to those in need.
Despite the Lockdown, Avril Andrews of the Alcardo Andrews Foundation continues to provide the residents of Hanover Park with much-needed meals. “Aunty Avril” is a well-known force for good in her community and a worthy recipient of Bravura’s social giving initiative which took place last year on 18 July to mark Mandela Day.
Avril founded her foundation four years ago after one of her sons was tragically gunned down in the neighbourhood. She wanted to make a difference to her community, and through the foundation Avril provides various activities for the community, including an after-school programme and a daily feeding scheme in which men, women and children from Hanover Park line up with empty containers to collect food.
Unfortunately, the announcement of the Lockdown meant that the foundation had to suspend all activities along with the feeding programme. It wasn’t long, however, before people began to defy the Lockdown rules and beat a path to Aunty Avril’s door, often asking for as little as a spoon of sugar or a slice of bread. This was too much for Avril’s generosity and she took the decision to re-open the feeding programme. Once again, long queues gathered – only this time a little more orderly and spaced apart due to social distancing – at “Aunty Avril’s” yard, as hungry people patiently waited to collect their meals. But they get a bit more than a meal: the warmth from a kind word spoken and a welcoming smile from Avril and her volunteers will last long after the meal has ended.
Chrishenda Brukman, who works at Bravura’s Cape Town office, embarked on her own feeding initiative for the needy members of her community and surrounding areas. At the beginning of Lockdown, Chrishenda began sending out emails to organisations requesting their assistance in the provision of food parcels. Most of the companies that she contacted were unable to help, but finally on 14 April, a foundation called Food for Life said that although they couldn’t provide grocery parcels, Chrishenda was welcome to collect three pots of cooked food every Tuesday and Saturday.
Along with her son and other family members, Chrishenda made a makeshift table in her front yard in order to dish out the meals to people in her community. Chrishenda was astounded at the number of people who came for food, saying, “I have to admit I didn’t know that there was such a huge need in my own community.”
Since then, Chrishenda has also received 21 grocery parcels from the Mustadifin Foundation and from Sanzaf too consisting of soup mix, maize meal, sugar, peanut butter, teabags, oats, rice, jam, milk and tinned fish. Through Chrishenda’s generosity and tenacity, fewer people in her community are going hungry during Lockdown.