"This is like rain after a drought," said chairperson of the Representative Council of Learners, Asiphesona Jela, when Khutliso Daniels Senior Secondary School in Joza launched its own soup kitchen yesterday. "It's going to help us focus more in class," said Jela.
Sponsored by the Apostolic Faith Mission, God's Glory Assembly, the soup kitchen was established to boost the school's existing feeding programme, which depends on sponsors, including Pick n Pay, which supplies bread for the pupils.
According to Pastor Buyisile Kutu, of God's Glory, the church decided to adopt the school as a way of contributing to community development and the alleviation of poverty. "After receiving a letter from this school, we decided as a church that we would start with a soup kitchen.
We also plan to help with skills development and spiritual upliftment," said Kutu. "With this money that has been raised solely by the church members, we are still focusing on one school but we are planning to spread our wings in the near future and help other schools as well," Kutu said.
He said they hoped to see an improvement in the children's academic performance as a result of their providing regular meals. Pupils, teachers, Lovelife volunteers and parents were kept entertained by a Marimba Band from Waainek Prison, in Grahamstown.
Lovelife area co-ordinator, Xolani Nxuzula, said they had jumped at the invitation to the launch, because they had been working with pupils from local schools, including Khutliso, for a long time. "It is a good thing that Khutliso is getting this soup kitchen, because it will make it easy for them to focus on our programmes and also make use of the information that we share with them," said Nxuzula.
Nxuzula also said they would like to work closely with the church in making a difference in the lives of the young people. School principal Zonwabele Mcuba was could not contain his excitement when speaking to Grocott's Mail, and thanked the church leaders. "This is definitely going to help our pupils, because we are dealing with kids from poor backgrounds who sometimes come to school on empty stomachs," said Mcuba.
"This programme is going to help our kids with their social problems as well, because it's going to help them focus in class. "We are very grateful to the church and may God bless them so that they can help other schools as well," Mcuba said. Jela said, "This soup kitchen will even encourage those who do not come to school because they do not have lunch."