Lungile gets it right with new bakery for orphans

Sne Masuku

Sne Masuku

Aids orphans in Mthuli, Mjele and Mathunini in KwaMaphumulo, northern KwaZulu-Natal, could only dream of eating a slice of bread before going to school - until a bakery opened in their district yesterday.

"I told the Americans about the problems in my community and that though we were slowly getting there with HIV and Aids awareness programmes my centre was conducting, the challenge at hand was to establish a sustainable food project," Good Samaritan Lungile Khoza said.

US ambassador Eric Bost said his country gave the largest amount of their funding to South Africa.

"We are not just giving money to organisations," Bost said. "The aim is to fund projects that are going to be sustainable.

"By planting this seed - in your case it's in the form of a bakery - the bread is going to be sold at a cheaper price and at the same time we are creating job opportunities."

To kick-start the project eight women were trained to bake bread for the bakery, which is expected to produce 300 loaves a day .

Pretty Sikhane, who takes care of her three orphaned nieces, is happy that the bakery is close to where she lives.

For the first time the community has a bakery on their doorstep.

"Before this bakery I was forced to give them leftovers from the night before," she says. " Now we can buy fresh bread."

The idea of a bakery started when Khoza, after seeing how children suffered after being orphaned through HIV and Aids, established the Sinosizo community centre with the help of the inkosi and 35 unemployed women.

They were all passionate about taking care of those infected and affected by the pandemic, so a home-based care project was established.

The sick were fed and bathed every day but Khoza was worried about the hungry children, and that's when she approached Bost.