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Violet Madiba is like most of us in that she doesn’t like to see suffering. She’s a little better than most of us though, because she’s doing something about it.
Violet is from a village called Mapoi in Limpopo province. The village is rural and seeped through with poverty. For the longest time, the biggest indicator of this poverty was the heart-breaking number of children wandering the streets asking for money or food.
In 2016, Violet decided to break away from the accepted way of dealing with them (which was to either ignore them or give them something so they would go away) and ask them what they were doing begging when they should be playing or doing homework.
Their answers broke her heart and left her no choice but to take steps to change everything.
Most of them were orphans living with relatives – their grannies, usually – who simply didn’t have the means to feed them, so they had no other place to go but to the street to ask for help.
In that same year, Violet established a place for them to go.
Sedibeng Community Project is situated in a large shack, but don’t let its thin walls fool you. It is bursting with nourishment and care. Here, Violet and four other volunteers cook large pots of food every afternoon so that Mapoi’s children can bank on at least one meal. In fact, they can bank on much more, because the team goes out of their way to ensure that the children are not only fed but assisted with homework, too.
Violet has been given a piece of land on which to build an actual centre, but the process has been slow, partly because of a lagging municipality and partly because she has no way of affording such an expensive undertaking.
You see, Violet pays for every single bite of food herself. She has been since 2016. She uses her teacher’s pension to fill the bellies of Mapoi’s hungry children.
Photographer: Ntebatse Mokone from Optix Photography | Voice Artist: Aviwe Dyani | Writer: Ané Breytenbach
Type of Cause:Children and Youth, Community, Education, Hunger Relief, Welfare