Broken Windows fill empty tummies

The Broken Windows team pictured, from left, are Richard Clarke, Jason Jeptha, Abigail Hendricks, Agatha Fillis, Ayesha Davids, Bradley Jones, Ebrahim Mohamed, Taj Akleker, Beverley Boult, Yolanda Mullins, Sibongile Samsam and Shahieda Antvorsko.

Broken Windows have been feeding the most vulnerable for five years, and on the day before Mandela Day (July 18) together with Islamic Relief South Africa, they assisted the Cape Flats Development Association (CAFDA) with their 67 Minutes Covid-19 awareness programme.

The volunteers cooked up a storm as they worked hard to produce 6 700 meals to be distributed – 3 700 meals were cooked at Cafda’s kitchen in Schaapkraal and a further 3 000 meals at kitchens in Hanover Park, Bridgetown, Delft and Lansdowne, on Friday July 17.

New Horizon resident Ebrahim Mohamed and chairperson of Broken Windows, said volunteers came from across the Western Cape, from all walks of life, all just wanting to fulfil the same purpose – feed people from informal settlements that included Jabula, Freedom Park, Noles Park and Egoli as well in front of the Cafda kitchen.

Mr Mohamed said Broken Windows support existing kitchens in Bridgetown and Hanover Park but have also activated kitchens in Delft and Lansdowne.

“Five years ago the project started with one pot of food on one day. This year we have been cooking food since April 20 and have provided over 150 000 meals,” said Mr Mohamed.

He said unemployment has became a major factor in all areas they serve, and has increased since lockdown.

The Broken Windows receive sponsorship through institutional funding and private donors.

“Ultimately most of our funding come from South African individuals who support our cause.”

Mr Mohamed said some of their members cook their own food but part of their strategy is to “up-skill all those who we can, including community leaders.”

However, he said donations from any businesses or companies or individuals are welcome. “Anything from a loaf of bread to corporate social responsibility funds.”

He said during lockdown people have lost their jobs and “at times these are the only meals people receive in a day.”

As Mr Mohamed serves on various public sector forums, he said crime has increased in most communities positioned close to impoverished areas. “Safety is one aspect but crime prevention could mean having to roll up your sleeves to feed someone to potentially prevent them from committing crime to survive. Covid-19 has had an effect on us all, exposure in serving the community is a reality. I have had a close buddy who served in the community pass on due to being exposed.”

Mr Mohamed added: “The Broken Windows concept is something you can expound on, it really makes a huge impact if crime prevention strategies are put in place which deals with aspects of crime such as poverty alleviation.”

Mark Rossouw, Cafda governing board chairperson, said they have been collaborating with Broken Windows for approximately three months. “They are assisting us to feed in all the informal areas where we used to feed.”

For more information, visit Broken Windows’ Facebook page and to support their efforts here.