“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” – Nelson Mandela
During hard lockdown in March 2020, Hout Bay resident Ziyanda Thandle worked as a community volunteer registering people in need of food parcels. She had lost her job with lockdown, so was stepping up to help those in need without being paid to do so. “My role was to register people in dire need of food, and then Courage would provide the food packs for delivery by ‘home heroes’,” she explains.
Providence shone on Zyanda in September 2020, and Courage employed her to manage the
office and the admin. First the job was a godsend, now it’s a passion. Every Thursday Ziyanda goes to the gardens to check on progress and do orders for the gardens’ needs. “I have grown to love gardening through this project,” she says, “Courage has changed my life. Every day I learn from operations manager Tony, about how to run a business and so much more. He is an amazing person and I look forward to learning new things every time I see him.”
Ziyanda says Courage came at the very right time for the community. “Lockdown was stressful and people were sitting at home and not working, but in terms of food they were sorted and had enough to put on the table. They got all the food packages they needed. Other people got to hear about this project in Hout Bay and even asked for food parcels on social media.
“Courage has made a huge difference in the community. We have a chain of communication now so people in need can communicate with us. After lockdown, we continued to provide for people who lost their jobs and were in need. The food packs were substantial too – for a whole family for weeks. In the beginning we were providing food packs for about 7 000 families, with four to five members per family. Now we are looking after kids and older people more, with vegetables and dry goods.”
Many people who now work in the gardens were just sitting at home during lockdown, explains Ziyanda. “They needed a job and money, but now they love gardening. We grow up with gardens, but this is different because they learn daily, so it has really changed their lives for the better. They work with Gordon and Valerie in the gardens and it is their happy place for sure.”
Should you wish to simply support through donations please visit the Love in a Bowl website