The Minters have uplifted people who live off Stoney Drift refuse site for seven years

Couple gives their lives to dumpsite community

This year’s Daily Dispatch and Johnson & Johnson Local Heroes Awards dinner ended on a high note when the KFC Heroes’ Hero was revealed.

Joshua and Rachel Minter with some of the caregivers and children from the creche in Stoney Drift that they started a few years ago.
BY THEIR FRUIT SHALL YOU KNOW THEM: Joshua and Rachel Minter with some of the caregivers and children from the creche in Stoney Drift that they started a few years ago.
Image: ALAN EASON

The 2015 Local  Hero  finalists and Global Mercy Missions founders, Joshua and Rachel Minter, were named the KFC Heroes’  Hero  and walked away with a R50,000 cash prize for their continued inspirational work in their community.

The couple, who adopted a community at a dumpsite in Stoney Drift near Amalinda, were finalists in the first Local Heroes Awards five years ago.

What started out as a soup kitchen turned into an all-encompassing support system for the community and has seen Joshua and Rachel feed the community five days a week with vegetables from their garden and run a crèche, baby care centre and a church for the past seven years.

Focusing on preventing malnutrition, the couple have continued to feed an average of 250 people every day through the soup kitchen.

Rachael and Joshua Minter.
TIRELESS: Rachael and Joshua Minter.
Image: Mark Andrews

They also run a clothing bank and, with the help of donations, ensure all in their community have clothes on their backs. Over the last five years, the couple have also started trying to assist women and men caught in human trafficking and prostitution.

“A lot has changed since Local Heroes five years ago, and the ministry has grown incredibly well. We’ve been able to give back a lot more,” said Joshua.

He said their Local Heroes journey had created awareness for their project and earned them the respect of the East London community.

“Before Local Heroes a lot of people didn’t know who we were or that we even existed so it’s been amazing to receive recognition and support from the community after being finalists,” said Joshua.

“Local Heroes is such a great tool for empowerment — it inspires others to do better, but it has also changed the city’s perspective of NPOs and the work they do.

A team from UThixo Ulungile Ministries spend one of their Saturdays bathing scores of the babies and small children who live in Stoney Drift and giving each child a set of new clothes. From left are Rachael Minter, Jarred Hodson, Joshua Minter and Sihle Nyikana. In the bath are Amahle Tywakadi, Owam Motyamela and Aphelele Calerly.
SPRUCING UP: A team from UThixo Ulungile Ministries spend one of their Saturdays bathing scores of the babies and small children who live in Stoney Drift and giving each child a set of new clothes. From left are Rachael Minter, Jarred Hodson, Joshua Minter and Sihle Nyikana. In the bath are Amahle Tywakadi, Owam Motyamela and Aphelele Calerly.
Image: ALAN EASON

“It’s been amazing to see the Daily Dispatch and Johnson & Johnson do this over the last five years and continue to honour people who are often not noticed and take a lesser role in society,” said Joshua.

KFC representative Aimee Slabbert said the KFC Heroes’  Hero  Award was introduced this year in an effort to reward a past Local  Hero  who continued to effect much-needed change in their community.

“At KFC we believe in making a difference in the communities where we operate and this award was an opportunity to do that,” said Slabbert.

Joshua and Rachel were chosen as the Heroes’  Hero  after a stringent judging process which saw the 12 Local  Hero  finalists for 2019 voting for the Daily Dispatch, Johnson & Johnson and KFC top 10 Local Heroes from 2015 through to 2018. Slabbert said the Minter couple were true examples of local heroes and thoroughly deserved the acknowledgement.

“Rachel and Joshua are making a big difference in a community that has so little but needs so much. They have brought hope to the lives of vulnerable children and families and their selfless sacrifices make them deserving of the award,” said Slabbert.

MadeleineC@dispatch.co.za

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