FoodForward SA partners with 60 non-profit organisations in Khayelitsha, ensuring regular access to nutritious food for over 27,000 vulnerable people.
The Iliso Care Society operates within the community of Site C in Khayelitsha. Established in 2005, founder Mama Vivian Zilo decided to survey Site C and found that patients could not afford a meal to have together with their treatment. In this area, she saw the greatest need for community outreach and decided to quit her job and start a Food Nutrition Programme.
To support this Food Nutrition Program, the Iliso Care Society joined FoodForward SA’s beneficiary organisation network in 2016. Starting as a community soup kitchen, Mama Vivian saw a need to expand the work of the organisation. While serving daily meals to the members of the community she observed that children were coming along with their parents or grandparents and ended up just playing in the streets. They have now established an early childhood development programme that includes breakfast, snack and lunch meals for about 50 children every weekday.
Library and Toy Room at Iliso Care Society
Sewing room at Iliso Care Society
On a recent visit to the centre, Nomthandazo, Project Manager of Iliso Care Society took us on a tour of the facility and talked us through a number of their community programs focusing on disadvantaged women and youth. They have a library and toy room for the children in the community, donated by students from Canada. In addition, they have a women empowerment programme working with women ages 18 – 50 years old where the daily meals serve as an incentive for them to continue on the programme. They sew school uniforms and aprons for other centres in Khayelitsha and do beadwork to generate an income for themselves and the organisation. The life skills programme includes volunteers visiting schools who facilitate discussions around social issues affecting learners, including substance abuse, gender-based violence, bullying, HIV and Aids, stress, and teenage pregnancy.
To the Iliso Care Society team, thank you for empowering, enabling, and providing the most basic needs for the people of your community.