Avril opens her home to the needy

Avril Andrews, through her organisation, the Alcardo Andrews Foundation, feed hundreds of people daily.

Like many other feeding projects, the premises of the Alcardo Andrews Foundation, based in Hanover Park, has been a hive of activity when volunteers cook and dish food for the most vulnerable.

Founder of the organisation, Avril Andrews, said since they operate from her home, her family is up by 6am every day to prepare.

Ms Andrews started the organisation five years ago, after her son was murdered. The organisation is named after him.

The feeding programme is just one of the various offerings of the Alcardo Andrews Foundation which also conducts workshops, and has a support group for mothers whose children died because of gang violence.

As activities increased over the years, the Andrews family had to make use of their home.

“I salute my family. My husband opened up our home for the community. We run workshops from home every day. We also deal with gender-based violence and do referrals. By 10am we start with the feeding programme, then we also have an after care programme. Our day is only done around 6pm. Our cooked food and the handing out of it, are all done under our carport.

“With Covid-19, we started handing out sandwiches, and not long after that, we received some support from Harfield Village.

“We also serve 600 portions of cooked food daily.

“We noticed last year already, the need for a more suitable space to do our work, because as much as my family are involved, running the organisation from home, is also overwhelming for all of us,” Ms Andrews said.

Last year, during the height of gang violence, Ms Andrews said teenage boys were throwing stones at each other on an open piece of land, near the Andrews’ family home.

“I started talking to our neighbours about these boys who used that land to be violent with one another.

“That land was like a war zone. That motivated me to apply for the lease of the land. I made enquiries, established that the land belongs to the City of Cape Town, and initially, a City official told me that the City had no plans for the land,” Ms Andrews said.

After Ms Andrews applied, she was told to make contact with her ward councillor, Antonio van der Rheede, who informed her that the land has been earmarked for future development.

Hanover Park forms part of the Mayoral Urban Regeneration Programme (MURP).

Mr Van Der Rheede said he appreciates what Ms Andrews does for the community, but the land is not available.

“The need is so great out there. The reality is that we have little available land in Hanover Park.

“The land Ms Andrews is referring to has been earmarked for development after extensive consultation with residents, as part of the area’s central business district (CBD) upgrade.

“I invited Ms Andrews to some of the workshops where this was discussed. There is no way that I , even the City, can override these plans. It has been endorsed over a period of two years. These are not plans I drew up – it came from the community themselves,” Mr Van Der Rheede said.