The homies who care
Not every start-up needs to be a business, we have so many social problems in our country that requires us to be innovative and think beyond profit making. And this is why we should celebrate social entrepreneurs and NPO’s such as Feed A Homeless Homie.
When I first got to Hatfield during my University days I was shocked by the number of street beggars on the streets. It is very difficult to miss the homeless people on the streets and for the first few times you might feel compassion and a desire to help them but after a while, it is easy to get used to the idea and become indifferent. But not these guys, Zukhanye, Bongani, and Ntiko couldn’t stand to see homeless people “homies” without food so they started Feed A Homeless Homie.
It all began in 2015 shortly after the fees must fall movement at the University of Pretoria, in Hatfield. According to Zukhanye “After the 2015 fees must fall the University gave the students a food allowance, after having more food than we needed we thought of all the people who could be starving right outside our gates, we then gathered some cardboards and asked people to donate as well, after we had received enough food we then distributed it to the homeless homies”. This then led to the organization growing and eventually being registered as an NPO.
Not your regular feeding scheme
But this is not just another feeding scheme, what is interesting and unique about the movement is the fact that they make it very social in order to get students involved. The students get to mingle and socialize while taking a walk around the streets of Hatfield distributing food to homeless people. In this way, the students are engaged, and more willing to participate while making a difference to their community.
It’s not easy, but it’s worth it
Most people think charities are easy to start or sustain but that is far from the truth. It takes commitment, passion, hard work and discipline to do something for other people when you know you will not get rewarded for it. Feed A Homeless Homie has formed a great team of board members and the many faceless volunteers who show up every month to help out, and together they do an amazing job. The distribution of the food parcels happens every last Saturday of the month, they collect food and clothes from generous givers during the month. They then prepare and package the food the night before with the help of volunteers. The following day they walk around the streets of Hatfield with a trolley distributing food to homeless “homies”.
Feed A Homeless Homie has now grown and expanded to other cities and neighborhood with people adopting their model of feeding homeless people on the streets. They are now in Braamfontein, Midrand, Kempton Park and also in Germiston. Their vision is clear “We want to see more young people taking ownership of this movement by also starting it in their areas. Hopefully, in 10 years time, we will be in all the areas in South Africa that need this. “
If you live in Hatfield and would like to get involved, you can get in touch with them at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their website at www.feedahomelesshomie.com