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Soup kitchen to feed needy of Madonisi

Women work together to ensure villagers who take medication get fed

Rural residents of Madonisi village near Mthatha will no longer have to take life-saving chronic medication on empty stomachs thanks to a new non-profit organisation run by a group of women which has set up a soup kitchen.
To close Women’s Month celebrations, Madonisi-based NPO B&X Ray’s Caregivers and Women Support on Friday officially unveiled their soup kitchen to help impoverished residents, especially those on chronic medication, with nourishment.
Co-founder and NPO treasurer Busiswa Nkenkana told the Daily Dispatch that many people in the village relied on social grants to survive. Some of them take life-saving medication which requires that they eat healthy food.
“Unfortunately you find by the time the grant arrives, some people have already incurred huge debts,” she said.
“Some take medication for conditions like diabetes and other illnesses. But because they have to settle debts, they end up not being able to afford healthy foods.”
She said as a result, they had decided to help by starting a soup kitchen in the village.
“We will see how many times we can feed them.”
The vegetables are obtained from the Bityi Farming Co-operative, which was started by members of the NPO, while members have to ask for donations to buy bread.
Busiswa said crimes such as housebreaking, murder and robbery were rife in the village which had necessitated the establishment of a women’s support service.
“Women and children are mostly the victims of crime in this village,” she added.
Madonisi attracted media spotlight last month when the charred remains of five-year-old Qhama Nkenkana were recovered from a burnt rondavel, which was part of an unoccupied homestead in the village. The child had gone missing a day earlier.
His 26-year-old uncle Sanele Nkenkana was subsequently arrested.
Speaking at the launch of the soup kitchen, health promotion practitioner at the department of health King Sabata Dalindyebo sub-region, Thando Cengimbo, urged residents of Madonisi to teach young boys to cook and do other house chores that were previously meant for only girls.
He also berated men in the village for failing to instill a sense of responsibility in boys. Instead, he claimed, men had abdicated their responsibility and left women to raise children on their own.
The result of that was that boys grew up without any sense of responsibility and some ended up trapped in a life of crime.
“That’s why you see boys killing each other nowadays and also killing women and children. Some of these traditional cultural beliefs need to be changed if we are serious about fighting women and child abuse. They stifle the development of our children into responsible adults.”..

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