Reaching out to streetkids

WINTER PREPS: Wesley Methodist Church women donated clothes and blankets to street children in Komani on Saturday at the Lukhanji SuperSpar with Cikizwa Zantsi and Sandy Boy Picture: ANDISA BONANI

Women of the Wesley Methodist Church circuit 302 handed over clothes and about 50 blankets to the street children of Komani in preparation for the incoming winter season and to make a difference in society.

The scourge of children living in the streets of the town has raised concern among locals who fear the freezing winter would affect their health, and also increase the prevalence of fires.

Church member Cikizwa Zantsi who was one of the women who initiated the cause said they did so under their theme “Women advancing in action to shape the future.”

Our aim is to shape the children’s future by also teaching them to learn to do things for themselves and not only rely on handouts.”

Zantsi said they had collected unused clothes and blankets from members of the church, as long as they were in reasonable condition.

Finding the children and rounding them up proved to be a challenge for me as I walked about telling street them what we had planned for the day until someone informed me about Lukhanji SuperSpar owner Sandy Boy and her soup kitchen.”

Zantsi said Boy offered her store’s parking lot where the handover took place and the regular soup kitchen also took place.

Since I was already working with the children I just told them when they came for their daily lunch. Our main issue with this is that when the children know they will be given gifts they bring others who do not live on the streets. The result is that children who really need miss out due to a shortage, but we cannot chase children away because of it.”

A Rep reader and concerned resident who did not want to be named said street children regularly lit a fire at the roadside near McDonalds to keep warm, and was worried they would get sick in winter.

Sakhile Mbinza who has been living in Komani streets for three years said he and his friends lived in various abandoned buildings around town, especially in winter when shelter was a necessity.

It is hard to have belongings like blankets because others steal them. If you manage to receive a valuable item you have to hide it where others do not know and only retrieve it privately. The winter cold is a big problem for us because we usually sleep on cement which is very cold and leads to us being sick.”

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