Youngsters at the Olympiakos Football Club in the rural town of Noupoort started a community soup kitchen during the coronavirus pandemic and, thanks to their efforts, 140 community members, including 72 children, are receiving daily cooked meals.
This club is well known in the district and recognised for its talented players, but it was the youngsters’ community outreach initiative that has received the attention of Safa.
“While the teams could not play during Covid, the club found a way of supporting the community, which we highly commend,” says David Bantu, Safa president in the Pixley Ka Seme District Municipality.
“Emlyn and his team are not only dedicated to the sport, they are dedicated to improving the community and making a difference,” Bantu says. Emlyn Lukas, owner and founder of Olympiakos Football Club, says: “This food programme has enabled us to play our part as a local club, and more importantly, as the youth of Noupoort, in making a lasting contribution in the fight against Covid-19 by providing food to the most vulnerable – even if it is just for 14 days.”
The project is being funded by Noupoort Wind Farm’s socio-economic development programme and is being implemented in collaboration with two local clinics in the area. The beneficiaries of the feeding projects were assigned by Nonqo Simon Zono Clinic in Kwazamuxolo and Eurekaville Clinic, to ensure the most vulnerable receive the help during this difficult time.
“Against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic and its devastating impact on the livelihood of the most vulnerable, we applied to Noupoort Wind Farm for funding,” says Lukas.
Community members infected with coronavirus, TB sufferers, child-headed households, and clinic patients with severe and chronic conditions are provided with daily meals for a two-week period during October.
Most of the beneficiaries collect their meals at the clinics each day, but Covid patients who are quarantining, or those too ill to leave their homes, are having their meals delivered to home.