Masazane Soup Kitchen

Masazane Soup Kitchen

Feeding the Children, Growing a Community

In Mbekweni, a group of six “gogos,” or grandmothers, have joined hearts and hands to care for 150 children in their community who have been made vulnerable by poverty and HIV/AIDS. Each gogo takes charge of the care of 20-30 children. Using the training they have received from a South African NGO, the gogos make sure that the children in their care stay on track in school, are safe from physical, emotional and sexual abuse, can access social security grants they are entitled to, and can feel safe and secure in their community.

Food insecurity has long been a challenge for the gogos, the children and the wider Mbekweni community. In response, Tremendous Hearts has partnered with the gogos and Rondebosch United Church since 2011 to develop and operate the Masazane Soup Kitchen which provides nutritious meals five days a week to 350 Mbekweni children, including the 150 the gogos care for. Judy Cooke, Kate Peart and Marilyn Votaw from RUC, have worked closely with the gogos to outfit a donated shipping container as a functioning kitchen, to set up electricity service, to acquire basic funding and to establish the basic food ordering and staffing systems as well as to provide the psycho-social support that the gogos have needed to operate it over the last 12 months.