Every month, Moerida Joubert uses her pension to host a lunch at her home in Kewtown for the elderly.
The lunch includes more than one dish, dessert, cake and tea.
One of the old folks’ favourite foods is “ou mense onder die komberse” – cabbage frikkadel. They also love being served tripe and trotters.
Moerida has six children, 15 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Fifteen years ago, she started cooking for her aunts and uncles, serving them lunch in her lounge. Then the neighbours starting coming over, and soon the lounge wasn’t big enough for everyone so she had her porch renovated.
Now, she has built on all around her house for the 60-odd seniors who come each month for lunch.
Various people chip in with food and ingredients to make sure everyone is treated to a day they can remember, she says.
“We have people who deliver soup on their bike to me every month, and then I bake some bread, and my neighbour does too. So it just shows that if you want to do something good, you can, no matter what.
“I am so grateful for all those who come on board every month. It really is a family and community affair.”
She says she gets her passion for helping others from her late mom who was always ready to go to the aid of others and would involve her children in making food for those who are in need.
All the elderly want, she says, is to be loved and appreciated.
“Our seniors are often forgotten about and all they want is a little bit of your time. Their children are out working and busy with their own lives so often the seniors are left out in the cold. Sometimes all they need is just someone to talk to.”
Moerida’s sister, Allison Alexander, is the founder of the Rainbow House in Goodwood, which is home to 14 abused and abandoned children, and it was there, while helping to cook for the children, that Moerida, and her sister, thought about doing something beneficial for the elderly.
“This is what my mother would have wanted because this is what she did,” says Moerida. “She gave without bragging about it; she was a humble person. She had loads of friends, and there are still people who come to me and thank me for what my mother did for them. It really warms my heart.
“One day, a lady came to me and said that when her husband was sick, my mother would drop a bag of groceries at her house and because of that she was able to cook and feed her children.”
Moerida says that over the years she has built relationships with people who share her passion to help others.
“I love what I do – it’s exciting. People are so giving, and it’s so fulfilling to see everything coming together and the end result. Now my children and grandchildren also do what I do and love helping people, because of my mother.”
Allison says she and Moerida are trying to live up to the example their parents set.
“People always came to our home, and my parents gave them what they could.
“The earliest memory I have of my mom was her walking to the Erica old-age home in Silvertown with two bags of sandwiches and cupcakes. I would wrap the bread in lunch wrap. She did that all her life, and now we are doing this. Our parents were really the best example for us.”
Moerida’s friend, Fayruze Taype, has supported the lunches for about 10 years, and she and 13 other friends are there each month to cook and set things up.
“It really helps the seniors a lot. There are some who never get to dress up and go out or haven’t been out in months, and we are hardly finished with the lunch when they ask about the next one. The prayers they make for you makes you feel blessed. They are so thankful. They deserve it because they have been through a lot.”
One of the regular lunch guests, Nazley Dollie, says she is very grateful for what Moerida does.
“She’s such a wonderful person. To give such things for the seniors is a wonderful thing. She goes out of her way for us and gives up her time for us. She’s so caring, and she speaks to us with love.
“Whenever I see her, I feel a knot in my throat because it is something so good, it’s wonderful what she does.”
Mareldia Dalvie says the lunch gets her out of her house and helps her meet new people.
“You can talk to other people; you don’t have to sit alone at home. I really enjoy the time I spend there. The food is delicious and Moerida is an amazing person. She never asks for anything in return; she gives so much, and she treats us so well.”
Moerida is in need of tables and chairs. To help, call her at 084 600 8154.