When the intention is pure all the doors open.This surely was the case with our food service project at Shumbashaba in South Africa. This is how it came to life:
We were asked by Sharon Boyce, owner of Shumbashaba stables with horses, to help with food for about 20 kids who come on Saturdays to her for lessons in vaulting on horses.
Few boys discovered Shumbashaba during their school holiday and, as Sharon is very happy to help anyone and has an open heart, she allowed these boys to come when there is no school to help and learn about horses. Soon the group grew into 20 and feeding these boys was a challenge for her.
That is when she approached ACT Foundation South Africa to help with the food for these children from poor background as some of them don’t get a decent meal in many days. In fact, we soon came to know that this meal is the only cooked meal they get! We are happy to know that they get a nutritious cooked meal on this day.
ACT Foundation SA thus committed to cook for them once a month. This was back in February 2015 when we still had only 17 children. We made soup and brought lots of bread and cakes. The children loved it! As we spent time with them we realized they need much more help. We got an idea to collect shoes for them because many of them were barefoot. They all come from a very poor community of Diepsloot and walk to Shumbashaba – some of them walk for miles barefoot. It is truly touching to see how grateful they are to receive the food and footwear.
Our once a month food service soon grew into a meal every Saturday. As we committed to help, more volunteers and help came our way. Every Saturday we get more volunteers. People who come don’t want to go home as the energy of the place is incredible. ACT members have spread news to their families. They joined as well and are taking turns since then every Saturday. With new volunteers we keep getting new ideas and embrace them.
Slowly more kids started coming when they heard there is free food being distributed at a beautiful place that is safe for them. Sharon was very happy to have them. In few months the number grew from 20 to 70!