Feel the Love! Port Elizabeth residents have teamed together to form this project, assist with the feeding schemes, child care and other activities!
About the Program
Love Story is the ongoing inspirational story of a group of local residents in Port Elizabeth who decided to do something positive about the poverty and hunger they see on their streets every day.
The organisation has grown from a fledgling idea birthed out of the hearts of a few compassionate individuals; to a multi-faceted organization that runs a great variety of community upliftment projects, educational programmes and feeding schemes.
Our teams are made up of volunteers, either full-time or part-time, who are all committed to ‘filling in the cracks’ for a hopeless and destitute generation.
Love Story operates every day of the week to provide those in need the care and support they deserve.
This Christian-based organization was founded in
October 2012 and focuses on those who are destitute across the city of Port
Elizabeth, and who need immediate help and support.
This diverse organization runs several programmes
where volunteers can contribute their time and efforts.
Fight Hunger amongst Citizens
For Love Story, there is a cause that inspires and stirs us to action, and that is the cause of the hungry. We´ve seen multitudes of hungry children and adults in our very own communities. They are just like those you read about - the kind that fight for their food, that walk the streets at night begging and the kind that turn to drugs and alcohol as substitutes for food. We are not referring specifically to the homeless but also to those who have homes and families, yet go without food due to unemployment and poverty.
To start with, we have made many meaningful connections with existing crèches and soup kitchens in our neighbouring townships. Many of these places feed up to 100 children and adults every day, but due to lack of funds and support, sometimes only operate on one or two days per week. This means that often people go without food.
These places have kitchens and their own utensils and equipment, all that is needed are ingredients.
Love Story also runs a feeding scheme called ‘CITY FEED’ for over 100 homeless children and adults in the city centre during the week. We started off with one night per week but have now increased it to 3 nights. The hungry crowds increase with every feed. We are desperate for food donations and also for volunteers to help serve these people who have now become our friends.
Distribution of Clothing
We collect unused clothing and toys for
under-privileged children. Usually we will be informed about a community where
there is a need and we will package clothing according to specific ages and
genders of the children.
We also collect unused items for new mums in the maternity wards. Each hamper is like a ‘baby shower in a bag’, as many of these mums have absolutely nothing to care for their newborns. We collect all baby products such as nappies, wipes, creams, clothing, blankets and soft toys for these hampers.
We also make up gift bags of toys for children in the Paediatric Wards and cosmetic bags for patients in the Burns Unit and other wards. These bags consist of soap, creams, toothbrushes and toothpastes, deodorant and other luxury items.
Uplifting the Community
Love Story takes on a variety of community
upliftment projects that vary in nature. Projects may include rebuilding of
shacks / shanties, revamping and cleaning up communities, awareness campaigns
or hosting Birthday and Christmas parties for those who are less fortunate.
We also support families in crisis with grocery donations as well as clothing, toys, school uniforms, household items and furniture. Families included in this project are those whose members have undergone some form of abuse, sickness or extreme poverty.
Bags of Hope
We collect second-hand or new handbags filled
with necessities, luxury items, bibles and notepads for women at shelters and
crisis centres. Most of these women come from abusive backgrounds or have been
living on the streets as prostitutes, and even though they are being
rehabilitated and cared for, receiving a gift of their own restores a measure
of dignity and hope to their lives.
Early Childhood Development
We believe that every child deserves equal opportunities in life. Through our ECD Project, we aim to make this possible. Nurturing infants, clothing children and feeding the hungry are just the beginning - in order for children to reach their full potential, an education is vital.
We have thus aligned ourselves with various underprivileged crèches in neighbouring townships, to assist in educating the staff, to provide resources and to set up well-equipped ECD centres that will be havens for children to grow and learn in.
The crèches that we partner with are not government-registered, and for the most part are struggling to survive. This means that, amongst other issues, the teachers are not paid, which obviously negatively affects their motivation and commitment. Alongside the teacher training we have introduced a program called ‘ADOPT A TEACHER’. This project will provide the teachers with a small salary or contribution toward it. The small and irregular income these crèches receive through school fees charged to the parents can then be used solely to feed the children and maintain the crèche.
Creative Play Days
We run a program in underprivileged crèches and schools whereby children are given the opportunity to learn through dance, drama, song and movement. This helps them express themselves creatively and helps build their self-confidence. We’ve joined hands with a team of talented ladies who conduct the classes on a weekly/monthly basis. Going forward, this will become part of the daily programme at the crèches.
Volunteer working hours are flexible, but will generally be from 8.30am - 3pm during the week including the following tasks.
The Eastern Cape and the surroundings of Port Elizabeth show a large variety of natural beauty and make PE a great central place to visit the variety of South Africa. To the East you will find the Wild coast (former Transkei and Ciskei) which is mostly rural and undeveloped, but closer you will find Addo Elephant Part and great coastal villages such as Port Alfred. To the North you will find the great Karoo; a semi desert area with wide open spaces, large nature areas and long open roads with historical places such as Graaff Reinet, the Baviaanskloof Wilderness and much more. To the East towards Cape Town, you will be amazed by the Tsitsikamma National Park, holiday villages such as Plettenberg Bay, Knysna and natures Valley or the surf mecca of Jeffrey’s Bay. This gives you plenty to see and visit while you are here.
In and around Port Elizabeth there are a lot of things to do as well. You can go sandboarding on the sunday river, visit some museums about Nelson Mandela or go to one of the beautiful beaches!
You will be picked up at the airport if you like, just tell us the time of your arrival and one of our coordinators will be there!
The volunteer house lies in the popular beach front area of Humewood, and is only a 5 minute walk away from the beach. Shops, beachfront cafés, restaurants and access to other facilities are all within easy reach. It’s the perfect location to enjoy the beach after work or during weekends. The volunteer house offers spacious living conditions and is shared with other volunteers.
Three meals per day are included and we work on a set menu per week. Volunteers do the cooking while we provide the groceries and together we set a menu per week. There is free coffee, tea and cordial juice available at any time. For breakfast you will have toast, fruit, yoghurt, cereal and/or eggs. For lunch you can have sandwiches with cheese, marmalade, cold meats or other spreads.
Please tell our coordinators about any wishes, vegetarian wishes and allergies concerning food.