My name is Kerrie (22) – an eye opening and learning experience.

Today was an eye opening and learning experience, as I got to see how the other side lives and tried to also play my part instead of turning a blind eye. I went to Reiger Park not knowing what to expect, but we must remember that in life our expectations do not always turn out to be the reality.

Helping the penniless is often thought to be determined by the moral character of the potential help giver. ‘‘It’s a lack of faith that makes people afraid of meeting challenges, and I believed in myself.’’ Of course, I cannot take all the credit, with the help of some kind-hearted volunteers, we managed to pull strings in a very short period of time to help those in need.

Meals Prepared by the volunteers

Our pursuit to secure a sponsor from our local businesses to get food and packaging was a bump on the road moment. From each person having a different mindset on what product/quality they would like to buy for the project, with a limited budget was a hair pulling struggle but in the end – by God’s grace- we managed to get on the same page and focus on the real matter at hand, which was to feed the needy children.

Many kids grow up in poverty and the effects are saddening as it can last for the rest of their lives. The main effects of growing up in poverty may include poor health, high risk of teen pregnancy and lack of education which results in them making bad life decisions such as joining gangs and selling drugs.

One of many people in my community decided to act and join the cause to alleviate poverty in the youth. Mizanurrhman, a local grocery shop owner, was the hero of the day. He was more than willing to sacrifice profit over charity and was one of the reasons the feeding scheme in Reiger Park was a success, saying ‘‘I am so happy to join IVOTESA, thank God we’ve done a wonderful job. We continue and try to make a difference in the community. I will always try my best to support people in hunger especially children.’’ Mizanurrhman supplied us with bread when all odds seemed against us, he supplied us with an improbable discount and more food items that was not budgeted for.

Now this is what communities need more of. Mr Vincent, a local in Reiger Park, is another man we must shine our light on as he donated his container for us to be able to feed the children in even though he did not have much. No man is an island! More organisations for feeding the less well off are being formed in Reiger Park, so I ask you my Born Frees; what are you doing to alleviate poverty in your communities? What do you think the purpose of life is?

Shane Abrahams from IVOTESA is playing his part by providing skills and creating jobs. Shane gave the community of Reiger Park hope by showing people how to make soaps and forming businesses, which is a step in the right direction.

Shane Abrahams teaching the community to make soaps

The cycle of poverty begins when a child is born into a poor family, these families often have limited or no resources at all to create opportunities to advance themselves, leaving them stuck in the poverty trap. We need to count our blessings every day and be grateful for the littlest of things we have in life.

Today was an eye opening and learning experience, as I got to see how the other side lives and tried to also play my part instead of turning a blind eye. I went to Reiger Park not knowing what to expect, but we must remember that in life our expectations do not always turn out to be the reality. We do not know whether the food we gave out today could have been someone’s last meal. When we do it in love, when we give and do not receive, it is okay because someone is blessed regardless., this is what I learnt from IVOTESA. I look forward to more projects like these and bigger, remember one man can’t change the world.

Working as a team

‘’One of the worst enemies that sets the platform for developing a poverty mindset is your background. Where you come from, the mindset of the people you deal with, what you know, and your experiences can set the tone that can cause you to believe that you are born to be poor. You can only get out of that dungeon of a mindset by revolutionizing the way you think.’’-Oscar Bimpong

“I want to become a drug dealer when I grow up”

What would you like to become when you grow up? A question we all heard when growing up – a question which expressed the ambition and expectations children once aspired towards. Doctors, lawyers and teachers were once some of the answers…. Sadly that is not what I heard yesterday. Several teenagers no more than 15 years old boldly expressed their desires to become drug dealers.

I was taken aback before enquiring why, and their response was, “it’s the money!”. We are living in a society which prizes money above the sanity of life. Who can we blame? The government, their parents or maybe their teachers? How far have we come away from the compass of morality? How far have we wandered outside of Eden that our kids can’t see true role-models anymore… How sad!


Reiger Park is a coloured township situated in Boksburg in the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality, Gauteng, South Africa. It was established as Stirtonville after the Second World War when people influxed from rural areas seeking work on the gold mines. In 1963, due to the apartheid government’s policy of separate development, the black people were moved to Vosloorus, the Indians to Actonville and the coloured people were left to stay in Stirtonville, then renamed to Reiger Park.

The locals have given their own unofficial names to the different areas of Reiger Park, for example Jerusalem (due to the many churches in that area), Excuse Me (due to the houses so close together that when you sneeze, your neighbour says bless you) and Popcorn (a new area developed in the 1990s with the houses popping up so fast that they were likened to popcorn). In 1997, the Popcorn area experienced violent rent boycotts; in 2008, it was one of the sites of violence during the anti-immigrant riots, beating and burning émigrés on streets described as “war zones”.