The life that exists in this barren stricken 21st century habitat in Blikkiesdorp is appalling! It is the first of its kind that was set up in 2007 for the homeless. The impoverished community living in this informal settlement are coloureds , blacks and whites (12,000 adults and 8,000 children) from all parts of the Western Cape.
As we drove through the one-way gated community, I was saddened by the barbaric conditions these people live in. Dirt roads, tin shacks, wild dogs, horrid sanitary conditions, no running water or a tree in sight. Life goes on and life comes into this world, without thinking perhaps a drunken state of mind, or even rape. The gate closes at sunset to keep out some of the barbarians living in the neighboring area, and within these gates it’s all about the survival of the fittest.
The leaders of the community had organized everyone into an orderly line-up. They were told food was on its way. I was overwhelmed by the sight of so many women and children, waiting patiently in line for a meal. Bare feet and snotty noses with hunger in their eyes.
Thanks to the caring Marc Buhrer who set up Dare to Share five months ago using the social media platform FaceBook to gather his flock of volunteers. He then orchestrated an event with Checkers, Shoprite and Pick n Pay to came on board with live aid to feed the hungry masses in Blikkiesdorp.
On that day, we handed out 500L of soup and 400 loaves of bread in less than two hours. This was achieved with the help of Shoprite’s soup kitchen, meals on wheels, as well as the soup from the Sunbird Bistro. Pick n Pay gave a donation in blankets and the time we spent among the needy was so rewarding – to see a little face smile takes so little.
Lee Warren, a remarkable woman, and her team are doing wonders for this community. The next break-through buzz is the Blikkiesdorp Community Upliftment Project, which is taking shape and giving hope to many.
Many of us don’t have to think about where our next meal is coming from, but these people do. Giving is easy, whether it’s one blanket or two.
With one small step at a time, I dare you to share.
Photos through the small eye of my Sony and some pics from Facebook