Birthday girl feeds hungry

Woman hands out food to kids

INSTEAD of throwing a party for herself a Breidbach woman has dedicated her 52nd birthday to the poor community of Qalashe Village last Saturday.

Gloria van de Venter is a health promoter at the Breidbach Clinic, who is passionate about helping the sick and needy and had a dream she always wanted to turn in to a reality. The dream is simple – to uplift, and make a difference in the lives of the poor and, more especially, needy children.

TIME TO EAT: Yvonne Christian hands out food to an appreciative child during a special project held in Qalashe over the weekend to celebrate Gloria van de Venter’s birthday Picture: DESMOND COETZEE

When two cars unexpectedly parked in front of the houses close to the informal settlement in Qalashe, nobody living there had had any idea how awesome their day was about to become.

Van de Venter accompanied by her husband, daughter and a member of her church took out from the parked vehicles a table, pots of cooked food, soft drinks and boxes of fruit.

They were also assisted by members of the East London based Palace of Hope NGO. Children, followed by parents arrived from all directions.

Soon the area was filled with about 50 villagers, mostly children, whom were each served a full plate of food, fruit and refreshments to their excitement. After the ceremony, the visitors moved to a physically challenged woman, Joyce Thompson, who lives at the upper reaches of the village and who was also blessed with a meal.

“You have no idea how relieved I feel today, this is what I always wanted to do but due to my work and family commitments, it was postponed year after year,” an emotional van de Venter said.

“The Lord has blessed me abundantly with a wonderful family and with the gift of cooking and, although I wanted to spend my birthday with the poor, it still remains my dream to do it on a regular basis.

“I would like to thank King Market and local individuals for their generous donations, my family, Palace of Hope and for everyone who supported me in making this project a reality and huge success,” van de Venter said.

Palace of Hope secretary Jocelyn Christian opened the party with a prayer and said: “We are here to celebrate the birthday of my aunt Gloria today and I expect all of us to sing for her before we enjoy ourselves with a lot of food and refreshments at stake”.

Qalashe resident Fanny Quilie, 56, said: “They have trapped us all off side; their kindness and generosity has not gone unnoticed as we truly appreciate the gesture showed today”.

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