On Thursday, 12 October 2017, Breadline Africa opened a community kitchen in Imizamo Yethu (Xhosa, meaning ‘Our Efforts’). This informal settlement in the greater Hout Bay Valley area of Cape Town houses approximately 33 600 people. Mirriam Mdoda has been running the Donste Yakhe community kitchen since 2012. Her life changed when an elderly man collapsed in front of them at the local clinic. Mirriam rushed to his aid and learnt that he had not eaten since the previous day and had taken a dose of his newly prescribed medicine on an empty stomach, with disastrous results. Determined to ensure that patients, especially children attending the clinic had a meal before taking their medicine, she launched the community kitchen from a shack on the side of the road and transported the food to the clinic.
Her efforts have grown from feeding a few people once or twice a week to a full-time job … one that Mirriam is not paid for because she believes it is her duty as a member of the community to help. Not only does Mirriam now feed people while they wait in the queue at the clinic, but she also feeds children from her home after school each afternoon. She tries to ensure that they have a nutritious meal before they tackle their homework.
Mirriam could not have done this without the support that she has received from iKhaya le Themba (Home of Hope), a non-profit organisation in Imizamo Yethu, who have allowed Breadline Africa to place a kitchen container for Mirriam on their premises. Ikhaya le Themba also operates a bread-making project from the kitchen that contributes to the feeding scheme. We wish Mirriam and the bread-making team at Ikhaya le Themba many years of providing meals to those in greatest need.