Last monday we saw the pastor and his wife Junice again. We went with them to a chicken farm, where all people from communities all over Cape town come and by chicken feet. They buy these chicken feet to cook or braai them in their village and then sell it to the locals. The idea of us coming to this farm was to get the broader picture on what the work includes, how long it takes etc.
So, after 1,5 hour or so we had the chicken feet and went back to Guguleto. Janice started cleaning them and we counted the feet and started making calculations on their finances. The profit they make is minimal: it’s just enough to cover the costs of daily life – and no room for saving. If you can save 4 Rand per day (0.20 eurocents) than it will take you years before you can make a big investment. That was the first reality check.
The second reality check came where we got quite a bit disappointed; in the end they asked us to buy them a freezer. In our opinion we have been very clear about our purpose here in Cape town. And that we’re don’t have the money either to ‘just’ buy a freezer for them. So as we left, we felt a bit down about this whole situation in Cape town. Today, we will go to them again, and we will bring chicken wings (instead of feet). They can sell those chicken wings for a higher amount, thus starting saving more and perhaps expanding their business.
What we’ve realized more and more is that investments and donations are necessary. But on the other hand an entrepreneur is something from the inside: not something that can get feed by money. Due to the ‘unfortunate’ situation as us being white, people tend to see a bag of money walking in. Many people we’ve talked with so far experienced these same things. But all of them underline that there are people who don’t ‘just’ want money and are passionate about starting there own business. It’s a real quest to find them.. And unfortunately we just (now) met a lady who studies these kinds of groups and has many females who definitely are willing to start their own company. For the next group to take over this project, this is a great opportunity!
On tuesday we went to Spice4Life together with Celestine (that is ‘our angel’, Joop). Spice4Life is a lifestyle website, with different branches in any direction. They have a project running in Dunoon (another township! Can you still remember all the names?!), where they help entrepreneurs setting up their own business. But they do it by means of financing them, the entrepreneur have to present a business plan, and show the effort he/she has put already to make the business work. This is a very valuable contact, where we definitely can work with. They organize once per year an event where all entrepreneurs and potential customers come together in a trade fair. Immediately, my mind was creating more ideas and plans for the future of this project….
To continue, it was a lovely chat we had with Kelsey. They will publish an article/blog about us, and she arranged for us to be on a radio broadcast, that next morning. Click HERE to see the broadcast. They wanted the girls to talk, since female entrepreneurs, spice4life and women empowerment are the ‘hot’ topics..
Yesterday was different from every other day so far. We went to the father of Caroline (she was an exchange student in Amsterdam), to visit him in ‘Vrijgrond’ (Yes! Another township!). The father is named Daniel, and he is a very religious and ‘good’ person. He raised 7 daughters and 2 sons, so you can imagine how that has shaped him. He now lives in this community to serve the community, to help them where he can. Every thursday he cooks soup for them (for about 200 people!) served with bread or pap. So we decided to help him out, and see how a day like this looks like for him.
When we arrived, the soup was already boiling. Nothing much we could do there, so we went talking and discussing about life (and christianity, people in South Africa are very religious still). A student from Switzerland came in, together with two older people from Switzerland. The student helped a lot in the community as well, where he ‘learned’ it from the master, Daniel. So after talking for a while, we went on a stroll through the township. Some parts are definitely better than the townships we’ve seen; as the infrastructure was kind of visible. But other parts looked pretty much like Lavender Hill, where the shooting had happened. The girl who went with us, told us the situation in Vrijgrond is similar to Lavenderhill: lots of drinking/drug abuse (she called it Tick or something like that? I’m still trying to understand ‘Xosa’ language…), gangs, shooting etc. So when we walked there, a kid run by and try to snitch of the golden necklace of the older guy from Switzerland. That was when we decided to walk back to Daniel and his safe community center..
When we arrived, it was afternoon and the first people started to trickle in. So Elmira and I poured the soup into everyone’s bowl (they were very inventive with the soup bowls: from an empty butter cup to water buckets) and the Suisse lady gave them the bread. I found it a bit difficult to see that most of the villagers did not even seem the notice or realize that they were getting soup & bread: they wouldn’t even look up. Just took it and walked away, while these people who make the soup and buy all the ingredients don’t have much to spend either..
It did restore my faith in humanity. Seeing that even the people who don’t have much, want to do good for the community breaks my heart. In my opinion, everyone who will come visit Cape town, should work with them for one thursday! Contact us if you’re interested….