There are 25 or even more community kitchens operating in this town. Many, through the Grahamstown Residents Association, have been connected to the Makhanda Circle of Unity Food Security Cluster, which is made up of various local role-players. This cluster mobilises funds and other resources to keep these kitchens operating.
Through personal networks, some of the kitchen operators are able to get donations from other sources. In running the kitchens over the lockdown period, they have identified many challenges within the communities they serve. Most of these challenges can be addressed by these communities, provided there is assistance and motivation.
This has inspired the people running the kitchens to think big and think beyond the pandemic.
The idea is to transform these kitchens beyond charitable spaces that offer people food. The aim is to elevate these spaces into hubs of all kinds of vibrant activities that will invoke a sense of responsibility within the community.
This revolutionary idea was sparked by the recent Asset Based Community Driven Development Workshop facilitated by Ikhala Trust, from Nelson Mandela Bay. This three-day training impressed on the attendees that big dreams start with small dreams. The vision is deliberately intended to shift the paradigm, re-write the story of poverty and use it as vehicle to channel positive energy, which is so needed by our communities right now.