A Parklands mother, who says she knows what it’s like to go to bed hungry, is determined to protect children from experiencing what she did.
Pamela Igwe, who grew up in Langa, says there were times when her parents found it hard to put food on the table.
“It wasn’t a very good environment to live in, and our circumstances were dire. I guess this is what motivated me and made me want to help others.
“At 18-years-old, I decided that whatever I do with my life, I would always strive to help better the lives of others.”
Ms Igwe, who studied tourism after matric, said she felt like the tough moments she had faced in life were a kind of training “preparing me for what I would see in life and be able to handle a lot of hardships. There are things I still find difficult to speak about but I have spent nights in shelters as well because of how bad things at home got.”
In 2013, Ms Igwe found herself going door to door in Parklands, asking for second-hand clothing and toys for underprivileged children.
She would also buy food, which she would cook for the children.
She would sell some of the things she collected at a market near The Stables and use the money to buy more food for the children.
In 2014, Ms Igwe registered her non-profit, Repairers of Broken Walls. The name came from the book of Isaiah in the Bible.
“I want to be able to teach children the word of God, and to stay away from crime, alcohol and teenage pregnancy,” she said.
Babalwa Mlondolozi works with Ms Igwe in the organisation.
The pair met in church in Dunoon and both share the same vision of wanting the kids of the community to never go to bed hungry and to always have clothes on their backs.
“It kills me when I see some children without any food, but the little we do for them hopefully makes a difference. I see the smiles on their faces,” said Ms Mlondolozi.
They use Ms Mlondolozi’s home to feed the children each week.
The organisation’s aim this December is to help as many children as possible with clothes, toys, food and school uniforms for next year.
“No child should have to worry about where their next meal is coming from or not be able to go to school because they don’t have a uniform.
“They all deserve a nice Christmas. Every child should have the same opportunities, and we don’t want others feeling less than human because they don’t have much,” said Ms Igwe.
She hopes to eventually find enough sponsorship to feed the children daily instead of weekly.
To find out more call 071 711 9708 or email firstname.lastname@example.org