Manenberg women plan Christmas treat for kids

Valerie Oliphant, left, assisted by Carmen de Bruyn, cooks and distribute food to 300 people weekly.

Two Manenberg women are appealing to the public to help them make Christmas a bit more cheerful for some of the community’s less fortunate children.

With support from friends, Valerie Oliphant and Najoemah Constant have run a feeding project in the poor community for almost two years, serving meals to about 300 people a week.

“I drive schoolchildren, so I am up and down in the community, and the poverty levels are so obvious,” says Ms Constant. “I have also learnt that some of the children go to school hungry. We just could not ignore this and decided to do something with the little that we have.”

Ms Oliphant adds that they also know what it is like to go through the day without as much as a slice of bread.

“Times are tough, and there is not always bread at home. We come from an era where we did not have food or we were subjected to wearing broken shoes. We know what it is like to struggle. We also know that it is not only people living on our side that are struggling, and this is why we move around to distribute the food at different spots in the area.”

According to Ms Constant, Ms Oliphant is known as “Mother Teresa” in the community.

“She never turned anyone away, and she is known to give her last to someone else in need. She does not work but shares whatever she has, so I had no doubt to collaborate with her.”

Carmen de Bruyn helps Ms Oliphant cook the food that is distributed weekly.

Ms Constant and Ms Oliphant hope to hold a Christmas party for 300 children on Thursday December 16, but they need help to make this happen.

“We want to give them something that will make them happy – complete with Christmas decorations,” Ms Oliphant says.

If you can assist, contact Ms Oliphant at 062 630 1825 or Ms Constant on WhatsApp at 081 349 1268.