Homeless women from Salt River and Observatory were treated to a special lunch, gifts and local entertainment on Women’s Day, Thursday August 9.
About 70 women and 10 children attended the lunch by Breaking Bread Community Development, which was held at the Methodist Church in Observatory.
Breaking Bread is a non-profit organisation which provides two meals a day to the homeless in Observatory and Salt River. They also work with various organisations to find possible shelter for the homeless, deal with substance or family reintegration. They partnered with sister organisation, African Sunrise, which places volunteers and interns from overseas at various local NPOs and Big Beard Entertainment, which is dedicated to helping local artists with various support services.
Breaking Bread director CJ Armstrong said many of the homeless women they worked with either had babies or were pregnant and faced many challenges living on the street. She said they also provided a link to African Sunrise, which tries to place them in shelters. Ms Armstrong said many of the women had escaped abusive relationships and said the organisation’s main goal was to uplift and empower. They currently operate from a volunteer’s home in Salt River and hope to find a permanent home soon.
Nomsa Maqanda, 37, has been on the streets for most her life and said she simply didn’t want to be at home and decided to leave. Since then, she has moved from place to place and worked with various organisations to try and get her life on track.
Ms Maqanda said she was grateful to all the organisations she had worked with over the years. “There are people who care and have helped to empower me through skills development,” she said.
Big Beard Entertainment founder Angelo Julies, who arranged the entertainment for the event, said when it came to local, they would always be involved. He said being part of the event was not only to give back in terms of food and donations, but also to give them entertainment. “I’m trying to break the barrier of some old school mindsets when it comes to women and men working together. We need to connect with like-minded people,” he said.
Mr Julies said it was a blessing to be part of the event and getting to see the joy on the women’s faces.
community.co.za to get in contact with Breaking Bread. For more information on Big Beard Entertainment, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 084 554 1527.