News in brief - Date: 06 August 2022
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In the midst of record levels of unemployment, retrenchments and abject poverty in the country, some children as young as six years go to school on empty stomachs. Some of them are orphans, with no one looking after them. Girls as young as 15 years must look after their siblings and are also vulnerable, as they have little means of putting food on the table. Many children only go to school for a meal as most of the rural schools within the Vhembe District Municipality now have feeding schemes.
The plight of these children who grow up under such desperate conditions has touched the heart of one young woman who, despite being unemployed, still decided to do something about it. Tshifaro Maguga, from Makwarela Zone 3, feeds more than 1 000 children with soft porridge before they go to school every day, which only shows how far determination can take one.
The big-hearted woman experienced these same problems while she grew up and this, she said, was what drove her. “I was so touched by their situation. Unfortunately, I am not working and have my own problems, but I decided to ask around for people who can help to do something for the kids. I am very thankful for Ms Thinawanga Masikhwa, who helped me to start a kitchen,” she said.
Once her kitchen was in place, Maguga immediately went out and talked to other people in the community who were not working either, and they started cooking for the children. Today, they are registered as a non-profit organisation called Fhulufhelo Rural Development Association.
“We are currently feeding more than 1 000 kids on a daily basis, but we don’t always have enough to buy groceries. We rely on donations and sometimes find ourselves with nothing to cook,” she said.
Maguga’s team includes Lucky Mutele, Tovhowani Maguga and Mawreen Manyelenyele. They humbly ask for help from the community, so that they can continue with their project to fill the children’s stomachs before they start their day.
People who would like to contribute can contact Maguga on 072 540 4592.
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From left to right are Ms Tshifaro Maguga, Mpho Maguga and Mr Lucky Mutele from Makwarela, who feed more than 1000 disadvantaged children with soft porridge before they go to school every day.