Masixole Loli Foundation unlocked during lockdown
Ginsberg local Masixole Loli's goal when starting the Masixole Loli Foundation in 2020 was to serve and make a difference to his community.
“I grew up here and I saw the community struggle all these years when I was still young. My life was mostly based outside EC due to football, and I had no plans on how to deal with the situation. During lockdown I had time to think and decided to do something, even if it won't be enough for all of Ginsberg, but I must start somewhere,” said Loli, 27.
The foundation provides weekly meals to more than 60 needy children. Loli runs his soup kitchen sometimes three times a week.
Loli also collects clothes for those in need and hopes to introduce programmes to assist the youth in various ways.
“The foundation focuses on feeding the community with a soup kitchen. We aim to assist the youth and hope to have different schemes and programmes to help them create and sustain income generating businesses, lead a healthy life and access a better understanding of their rights as citizens,” said Loli.
“These programmes are not just needed by the Ginsberg community but by the whole of King William's Town [Qonce] because drugs, crime and alcohol abuse are growing rapidly. We want to focus more on the youth so that the next generation will be better off.”
Loli said his foundation relied mainly on donations. It managed to keep going over the past year but the need was growing as more children gather every week to receive their meal.
When we started last year people helped but it only lasted for a month. Since then I've been running the soup kitchen with R500 worth of groceries from Spar Nick's Foods King William's Town every week
“When we started last year people helped but it only lasted for a month. Since then I've been running the soup kitchen with R500 worth of groceries from Spar Nick's Foods King William's Town every week.
“They have been so great to me and are always happy to see me coming there for a donation every week,” said Loli.
He said despite the generosity of Spar Nick's Foods King William's Town, there were often days when he used his own funds to buy food.
We face a lot of challenges, I don't want to lie. The numbers are growing and we don't have enough food. Some weeks I have to use my pocket money to buy what is short at the time.
“We don't have stoves to cook on or pots or plates so we borrow what we can.
“I really want to bring programmes to the community that will educate the youth about various things such as the importance of education and drug awareness, but It's been difficult to find help. I have knocked on some doors but with no luck. I want to bring back school sport but it's difficult,” said Loli.
He said he was determined to keep serving his community.
“The most rewarding thing for me, is to see the joy on the kids' faces after receiving a meal and that's what keeps me going and motivates me to do more,” said Loli.
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