Unemployed mom helps kids keep hunger at bay
Doyle’s dream is to see ‘Sunday lunch’ happening on a daily basis in Parkside
While most South Africans who are part of the 27.1% unemployment statistics are more concerned about themselves and finally landing a job, an East London woman has been feeding those less fortunate in her community for a year.
Through the Sella Feeding Scheme, mother of three Sella Doyle, 46, of Parkside feeds over 80 children in her community twice a week.
While she might be unemployed, she does not go to bed on an empty stomach. And to help those living in far worse conditions, Doyle has since January last year been feeding the children on Thursdays and Sundays. On Thursdays the children eat soup and bread, but on Sundays they are treated to rice, vegetables and chicken curry.
Doyle said her love for children led to her starting the feeding scheme.
Doyle said the initiative started with one child.
“I had just finished preparing food for my family when I saw this child. She was not dressed appropriately. I called her over and gave her some food. Then I asked her to go call her friends,” she said.
Then and there, Doyle made a promise to herself to make “Sunday lunch” for children a weekly affair.
Soup and bread after school on Thursdays came soon after.
While she started the scheme on her own, fellow philanthropist Cindy Paremore has joined her.
“When I heard what she was doing I decided to join her,” Paremore said.
Doyle said what fulfilled her was the smile on the little faces when the children got their meals.
“Without saying a word, that smile is from someone appreciating,” she said.
Doyle does not only feed their bodies, but also their souls. “Every Sunday, after the lunch is served, we have a Sunday school service where I teach them about the love of God and the importance of loving one another,” she said.
Doyle said it was through faith that the programme was still carrying on.
“I am unemployed, but through faith in God we manage to give them food regularly,” she said.
Doyle said if it was up to her, the feeding scheme would be on a daily basis.
Her children, donors, Paremore and Beverly Swanepoel help prepare the food.
It was partly the fear that the children might turn to crime to get food that drove Doyle to do something.
“It might not be enough, but it does make a little difference in the lives of those children,” she said.
When the Daily Dispatch visited Doyle’s home on Thursday, dozens of children were already queuing for their bread and soup.
Nadine Dekoker was among those queuing. She was there to fetch food for her child.
“As the community of this area we are grateful for what Sella is doing,” she said.
Annette Stefford, waiting for food for her grandchild, said Doyle’s initiative brought relief to many in the community.
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