Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) and the department of Pastoral Care for Migrants and Refugees hosted over 100 homeless people for Mandela Day.
They treated the destitute to a braai. The people, many of whom live in makeshift shelters on the Yeoville ridge and others who squat in peoples’ garages or on corners of peoples’ houses in the Bertrams/ Bez Valley areas are given daily support by Bienvenu monthly with food parcels, school fees, uniforms stationery and clothes.
“But today they are having a treat of braaied meat and, chicken, as well as fruit and a drink – things that are not normally in their diets. We are doing this in honour of the great man, Mandela,” said Sr Kadia Prigol, head of the shelter.
This was done over and above the 45 women and children who live in the shelter on a temporary basis until they are able to find work. Bienvenu also runs a baby centre for children between the ages of newborn to three years old and a creche for children between three and six years old.
Fr Lukosevicius Vaidas of the JRS said all the workers for the Mandela Day event were volunteers who also contributed financially. The shelter offers skills training to the women such as English classes, dressmaking, hairdressing, baking, manicures and pedicures.
The Jeppe Police Station also offers assistance in training the women and children on safety and how to avoid drugs and getting into prostitution.