I’m continuing my How to Help series today with a story about a feeding programme started by two remarkable people, Odette and Ebrahim Hossen in February 2009. Since then they have been running a community outreach and feeding programme in aid of those less fortunate in their Pietermaritzburg community. The people of Cinderella Park, Madiba, Tembalihle and Eastwood get a warm meal every Monday and Thursday through their feeding programme which ensures that some 250 children and 100 adults do not go hungry on these days!
Operating out of their own home, the Hossen’s programme is more than just a scheme to feed the hungry, they also provide second hand and new clothes to the people of the community, help people applying for grants and assist those having issues with municipal accounts. On occasion they are able to arrange for the Gift of the Givers to distribute to the community and even facilitate, with the help of local government, educational and motivational talks about issues these communities face like HIV/AIDS, teen pregnancy and drug and alcohol abuse.
Running a community programme like this is neither easy nor cheap but the Hossen’s always seems to find a way to make it work. The programme runs on a paltry R3000 a month to supply groceries, gas, wood and transport to those most vulnerable in their community. Securing sponsorship from local business and organisations is a massive challenge and the Hossen’s find themselves dipping into their own pockets most months to ensure the programme survives. Besides money, other requirements they have include heavy duty pots and shelter from the elements for the community in their front yard.
If you want to know how to help Odette encourages visitors to the programme so that you can make an informed decision on how you want to help sustain and grow the programme. For more info please contact Odette Hossen on 073 491 8378 or E-mail: [email protected]
This is the Hossen’s feeding programme’s story of help, to read more stories like these, visit www.youcanhelp.co.za