Rocklands women find joy in giving

The Scheme-Saam women are from left, Davinia Botha, Marsha Keseni and Priscilla Manho, who feed more than 300 people in Rocklands. Picture: Supplied

In the midst of fighting a global pandemic, there are countless phenomenal women making an impact in their communities. This week Plainsman talks to three women from Rocklands, who are making a difference in their neighbourhood by feeding more than 300 people every day.

These three women from the Scheme-Saam Organisation, Marsha Keseni, 35, Davinia Botha, 33, and Priscilla Manho, 64, make sure that the people of Rocklands, who are within their area, are fed daily.

Ms Keseni and Ms Botha prepare the food and the porridge, peel the vegetables, sanitise hands, among other things, while Ms Manho, Ms Keseni’s mother, does the cooking.

They fed the community before the lockdown period and then continued feeding people from Ms Manho’s home.

Ms Keseni said it was amazing to see people helping them, donating what they could during this time. The National Rescue for Poverty and Drugs Organisation and Woodstock Upliftment Group donated food and porridge for their initiative.

“We make sure the children are fed with porridge first and then the adults. We hand out porridge every morning from Monday to Friday, Tuesdays and Thursdays we hand out food in the evenings,” said Ms Keseni.

In the first two weeks, the numbers were manageable, however in the past weeks there had been many more people, which posed a challenge as the three women were doing everything themselves, she said.

They panic that they may run out of ingredients to make food, which will mean not enough food for everyone.

They fund most of the ingredients themselves if donations do not come in.

Ms Botha said she did not come from a wealthy family and often struggled but she wouldn’t want her children to endure the same. She wants to bring change into other children’s lives too and those around her.

“It’s a joy to see the children smile. We held a winter programme and got some T-shirts, gumboots and some essential items for them. We rehearsed and held a show for the community. It is amazing to work with them, I love working with them. We won’t stop now, there are too many depending on us,” she said.

“As women, we can do more, we can do better to create spaces for others, where they will feel at home and feel cared for. I have very high hopes for our organisation. We want things to grow bigger and better,” said Ms Botha.

They appreciate all the help they have received so far. They are requesting whoever is able to help them, such as peeling potatoes, sanitising hands, handing out food – they would appreciate it, said Ms Keseni.

If you would like to assist or donate to them, contact Ms Keseni at 064 180 0692, Ms Botha at 073 662 8420 or visit their organisation in Viscount Street, Rocklands, for more information.