Reneiloe gives cheer

Nthabisang Moreosele

Nthabisang Moreosele

Easter came a little early for the residents of Magagula Heights near Vosloorus in Ekurhuleni.

Mama Angel brought gifts of groceries for the Reneiloe Community and Home-Based Care to hand out to its clients.

Reneiloe is a non-profit organisation that was founded after several members of the community died. There was no money to pay for funerals and the relatives left behind were destitute.

Reneiloe started collecting money for burials and to help the family until a member could find a job. Most of the deceased left an ailing partner as well.

"Magagula is far from town and people do not easily find jobs," Busi Tukula, the director and CEO of Reneiloe said.

"Life is a daily struggle. We have also received requests from people living on the neighbouring farms. We have very little ourselves but we have to do something to help others. We have to give them hope."

Reneiloe feeds about 100 people through its poverty alleviation programme. It offers HIV-Aids counselling and home-based care.

"We identify orphans and vulnerable children. The children now use our space as a drop-in centre as we sometimes have money to feed them," Tukula said.

"The food is really welcome because for some people day and night, a holiday or weekend is the same thing, a day of hunger.

"Thanks to Sowetan, this Easter will be a memorable one."

Sowetan news editor Willie Bokala told the residents that he was saddened by the plight of the people of Magagula when he attended a funeral in the area. He praised Reneiloe and promised to return in future.

Petros Shabalala said he had lived in Magagula for nine years "back when it was still a farm". He has been unemployed since 2000 when he was fired after a strike at a dairy.

"May God increase the generosity of your hearts and your hands. May you live long for remembering your fellow men," Shabalala said as he hefted a big parcel of clothes and food.