Every Friday morning, community members from poor townships in Fort Beaufort cheerfully await 78-year-old Clara Gqomfa’s bakkie.
The car comes bearing soup and bread – their much-needed meal of the day.
Gqomfa, a retired nurse, lovingly prepares the soup before transporting it to feed families from six townships in the small rural town.
When the Dispatch visited her, she said, “I want to make sure that each month I feed homes from each community at least once.”
She said the dire situation of the families she visited compelled her to keep going back every week.
Gqomfa said her love for helping the needy was inspired by her late mother, who spent most of her life feeding children from the surrounding community.
“It was such a long time ago, but I still remember those moments.
“The question came to me saying ‘why can’t I do what my mother did?’ Since then, I decided to continue with her legacy.”
She also gives out soup and bread to whoever visits the provincial hospital’s clinic on Fridays. Gqomfa said she had a soft spot for people and families who are infected and affected by HIV.
This, she said, was inspired by watching her eldest son battle with HIV more than 10 years ago.
“At first he denied and hid his status from people. When he decided to come out, he became involved in support groups and helping others who lived with the virus come to terms with it. I decided to follow in his footsteps by taking care of those living with HIV.”
Gqomfa, who lived abroad for some years after her son passed away, said the desire to help the needy never left her. When she returned, she began her feeding scheme initiative. She sustains it through her pension fund payout.
She is also passionate about getting young people off drugs.
Gqomfa said she wanted to serve God by “serving his people who are in need. I believe in fulfilling the purpose of giving.”
Gqomfa said she would love to pass on the legacy of helping those in need to other people. “Look around and see if you can’t find someone less fortunate than you. There are people who have nothing and nobody.” — firstname.lastname@example.org