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More Than Games: Kids Club Provides Meals, Activities, and a Shoulder to Lean On

Our Kids Club was established following a community meeting in 2023 with the initial intention of providing after-school care for children once a week. Local volunteers suggested Friday afternoons to offer a fun-filled time for children, particularly for those facing challenging situations at home over the weekend, such as issues with abuse, alcohol, and drugs prevalent in our communities.

Since its inception, the club has experienced a rapid growth in attendance, starting from 20 children initially to now hosting 100 to 150 children every Friday, regardless of the weather. Activities range from playing soccer, engaging in arts and crafts, reading or listening to stories, to learning dance moves.

After an enjoyable hour and a half, each child is provided with a warm and nutritious meal accompanied by seasonal fruit. Occasionally, we are fortunate to offer delicious treats from our bakery, specially prepared for the kids.

Our overarching goal is to seamlessly integrate education into the playful environment. We believe it is crucial to instil values in these children, such as respect for one another, effective communication with adults, and the assurance that they are heard and cared for. We recognize the significance of offering a comforting hug, drying tears, or simply holding their hands. If we aspire to foster positive change, it begins with nurturing our children.

Kwano Community Clean Up

Claire Oosthuizen relates her experiences after joining a recent community clean up day at Kwanokhuthula

Have you ever had a pile or an unpacked box or a mess somewhere in your house that you keep meaning to tackle, but you don’t get around to it and every time you walk past it, it gnaws at you? Guilt-Denial-Excuse-Ignore-Overwhelm-Stuck.Record-Repeat?
Can you imagine if this was your front yard?

The sense of complete overwhelm? The way it quietly drains your energy? Problem getting bigger everyday. Rats moving in. Possibility of Disease- You really want this to change but you’re just one person-Stuck.Record-Repeat?
If you have ever had that mess and one day decided to just-do-it, face it, clean it, declutter it, sort it!
Then you will also know that sweet feeling of relief when it’s done, followed by another thought: That was SO easy, why didn’t I do it a long time ago?

Can you now sense the extent of that collective relief? Hear that deeeeeep sigggghhhhh of satisfaction? Quite liberating, isn’t it?
The pictures you see here are part of People of Love’s ongoing successful initiative, Community Clean Ups in local townships.

I joined the team in Kwanokhuthula a few weeks ago to experience the transformation firsthand.

Shirley Redman arrives at a predetermined site in need of clean up love (broadcast to her soup kitchen ladies’ network during the week). She brings with her: fresh muffins (homebaked by Shirley herself), fruit, juice, refuse bags, tongs, disposable gloves and neon vests. She distributes clean up gear as far as it will stretch to residents of Kwano that arrive to help: children, soup kitchen ladies, unemployed ladies, young men, community leaders and elderly Mammas to name a few.

The team then picks up litter and places it into refuse bags, when the bags are full they are put in piles at designated pick-up points to be retrieved later by the local municipality’s vehicle and moved to the nearby waste transfer centre.

Speaking to participants, I discovered many were motivated to come to clean up by the promise of a muffin and a juice at the end of their labours, some are unemployed and the prospect of a meal gets them up and out on a Saturday morning.

Everyone I spoke to shared the same positive feeling:
‘I am doing something!’
‘This is a good thing in our community, to take care of our place’
‘This is good for the children to experience’
‘This is good for our health’
‘Its good to take care of our environment’

For every four Community Clean Ups completed, participants receive a food parcel, which incentivises them to return week on week. The Soup kitchen ladies that I met on the Kwano Community Clean Up participate every Saturday and when they get their food parcels, they take them back to the soup kitchens where they use the supplies to share the love once more.

How you can help: People Of Love gratefully accepts donations of any kind, be it monetary or physical such as blankets, clothing and food parcels

Fundraising for a mobile soup kitchen.

Why do we need a mobile soup kitchen?

Over the past 10 months we have supplied over 1,2 million meals to people, a lot of which were served from the back of our bakkie.

We would love to expand the efforts of our soup kitchens but in order to do this we need a more efficient means of transporting the food and setting up at each location.

So we have started a fundraising campaign, with a goal to raise R140 000.00, to buy a trailer! This trailer will be fully kitted out to accommodate all the pots, tupperware, food and supplies we need when roaming various locations.

For us, our main vision is for our initiatives to be sustainable. Our purpose is not to assist communities temporarily but rather to provide the tools and training for the communities we work with to eventually be able to run our programs without our help. This is obviously a long term goal and will take time.

Right now we use our mobile soup kitchen to serve the immediate needs of children and the elderly in Kranshoek. To provide immediate food relief to those we need it. BUT our vision for the trailer and mobile kitchen is to create a commercial enterprise that the community can use. 

We visualise a mobile soup kitchen run by local men and women, who source produce from the local gardens, get bread from the local bakery and can therefore afford to make extremely affordable meals for their community. They would use the trailer at events to sell the food made with local resources, and those profits would then be used to put back into the programs, continuing to employ local people and sustain gardens, bakeries and kitchens.

You can help us with this vision by donation to our current campaign where we are fundraising to buy our very first trailer. The purchase of this trailer would be a big step in seeing our vision come to life.

If you would like to help, all you have to do is hit the following link, decide on an amount and donate at GivenGain. Other avenues for donating, including through Paypal, Snapscan, or by EFT, may be found on our ‘Donate‘ page.

Every single donation helps!

And if you know of any trailer, car, truck or trailer fitting companies who might be interested in getting involved, please spread the word and ask them to get in contact with us!

When you support People of Love, you uplift individuals and communities.

A letter to the Kranshoek community

Dear Friends,

I am writing this letter on behalf of the many volunteers and donors who responded so readily to address the hunger crisis in Kranshoek caused by the Covid-19 National Lockdown. By giving selflessly of their help and time and by donating money to buy food, you, the People of Kranshoek, were kept fed during this time of extreme difficulty.

I hope this letter will give you some clarity about the work we have done and what we wish for your Community.

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