Operation Hunger in partnership with AECI have embarked on a Hippo Water Roller project in the Free State in Steynsrus.  Operation Hunger’s National Development Coordinator Clement Summerton and Regional Coordinator from Limpopo Solomon Mojela visited the community in September 2017.  They held a meeting with twenty community leaders.  Most of the attendees were between the ages of 20 to 40 years. There was active participation and were well informed of their community.

The township is located in the Northern Free State in Moqhaka Municipality , Fezile Dabi Region / District.  Steynsrus is a township which was established long before which consists of two parts, one part which was developed and the other part less developed due to the influence of the former apartheid system of governance and consisted of only black people. After 1994, the new dispensation broke the barriers and the two areas were integrated into one and the movement of people was freed.There are 5 schools in the area.

Rain is only available from October – February then there is drought through out the year
Seasonal work is available during from December – May and thereafter no income is available at most of the HHs
Poverty is mostly experienced between February up to November  each year
Crime rates increase severely between November and December
Expenditure and credit increases also during September to December each year
Health condition tend to deteriorate in the community during the winter season May to August

The Mapping system was used to depict infrastructures, natural resources, land ownership, settlement pattern, soil types and cropping pattern. This exercise also enabled the participants to freely discuss the roots of their present situation and possible future developments.

Daily Routine Between Men and Women:

This exercise enabled us to understand routine activities among different household members the time of the day. This information helped us to identify critical times for peak labour usage and gender related issues related to overwork of women.

Daily activities

Steynsrus township was not exceptional to social and economic hardships experienced by many black communities throughout the Republic of South Africa.

Group discussion – challenges faced by the community



Unemployment , poverty and lack of skills were highlighted as key problems facing the community. The  HIV & AIDS epidemic, and other communicable diseases, substance abuse,  lack of proper services such as clean & drinkable water supply were also identified.


Wealth ranking: this exercise enabled us to determine the economic attributes of house holds in this particular village. It helped us to understand social – status of the different households in the village. This importunity enables us in identifying the poor for future development planning. The ranking was done by the villages themselves.


300 hippo rollers, three Spaza stands and a garden will be provided to better the livelihood of this village. The poor will be target for these development interventions, prioritizing the elderly, the sick, the disabled and women.
The Spaza stands will be used one each at the Local clinic, taxi rank and at the school. Among goods that will be  sold from the spaza stands vegetables produced from the garden project will also be included .
Participants will be trained on basic business management and marketing skills.
20 participants in total will be involved in the gardening project and six people involved in the Spaza stands.

Just as Clintons life was changing for the better, he got mugged and lost his sight in the split of a second when he tried to protect “what actually saved his life”


Operation Hunger meets Clinton’s family on Mandela Day, July this year to donate and deliver groceries to a family of two impaired people who live together in a two room shack. Ouma as she is fondly named by the Operation Hunger feeding scheme participants is said to have been very active in the community of Blikkiesdorp during her days. She ran a crèche together with two other women, her son at the time, Clinton, was a very naughty community youth who caught up all unwanted troubles for himself. Even though Ouma tried her best to disciple him, peer group pleasure of the large shanty town consisting of 1800 families ruled Clinton’s life.

Shanty township (Blikkiesdorp)

Not only was Clinton’s mom an active woman in the community, she was a respected dedicated prayer woman who prayed and supported people daily and weekly in prisons, hospitals and in her community. She never Forgot or stopped praying for her own Clinton too. But his bad life style was not improving.

One day a charismatic church operating in a canvas tent visited the community and was placed in an open space on the eastern side of Oumas house just next to Clinton’s home. It wasn’t long after the tent church was establishment Ouma became very ill and suffered multiple strokes. Soon thereafter she lost her job at the crèche and was bedridden for life. Fortunately during this time of her illness, Clinton although he was still out in the streets doing criminal activities he was married to a good hearted woman who looked after his mom.

The illness of his mom, affected him and he badly wanted to change his life. His mom’s medical bills were rising and none of his criminal activities could bail him out. One of his worst fears was to end up in jail leaving his bedridden mom alone at home. That forced him to leave the thug life he lived and pushed him to job hunting. Oumas prayers accompanied him each day he went out to seek a job. There is .. “A time to throw away stones and a time to gather stones”

Clinton, Ouma’s only child receives an employment at last, even though the income was little but it gave this young lad and his home hope and for a new beginning.

His wife could eventually be like other women go shopping with her husband and bring his mom her favorite fruit during month ends.

Clinton’s urge to improve his life further more drove him to the tent church services held next to his home. He accepted God in his life. As the say “one cannot meet the Lord and remain the same thereafter”

For Clinton it was time for new beginnings, a time for a renewed life. It was a time to love the Lord and righteousness and a time to hate. To hate wrong doings, evil, crime and everything that he was doing in the past. Ouma’s life and his wife was always a life of thankfulness and joy.

Just when everything was going so well for him…

Clinton (bottom right) Ouma (centre of pic) Ex wife top right and Fiancé bottom right

One night , in the depth of the night’s silence everyone was peacefully a sleep, a noise coming from the tent church side woke Clinton up. He couldn’t resist it; he went outside to look at what was taking place. In the dark tent by the musical cables. He spotted the three thieves, he shouted and chased after them as they ran. Yelling! … This is a house of prayer not a house for thugs”

That’s when his wife who was deep asleep woke up and realized that it was her husband shouting outside.

They thought that the incident was over, not realizing that something bad was about to happen to them. The thugs knew who he was and had decided to ambush him on his way from work and blinded his eyes so he could never see again or point any finger at them in case they are reported to the police. Life in Clinton’s home dropped and went down and down, his wife could hardly manage to look after the two of them anymore. (Blind Clinton and his paralyzed mom). Clinton discovered and understood the suffering of his wife and eventually made the heartbreaking decision of releasing his wife since she was young and had no children with him. Although released, the good hearted wife came would return home occasionally to wash Ouma but Clinton refused to be assisted by her.

ACSA and OH Mandela day

There is a time to weep and a time to laugh.

An OH feeding scheme lands up also just next to Oumas house, on the west side just next to Clintons home, The six cooks from the operation hunger feeding scheme and some community members make turns looking after Ouma and Clinton daily. This two receives daily meals from the feeding scheme. The feeding scheme feeds 400 people daily

On Mandela day Operation Hunger joined ACSA in the community and distributed 1800 food parcels in the community. One of these parcels was delivered personally by operation to the family. What was outstanding and moving on the day of the visit was to see Clinton neatly dresses up and having had a brand new hair cut and beautiful shaving that had been done by his ex – wifes fiancé, also noticed how fresh Ouma looked, this was after a nice warm bath given by her ex- daughter in –law.

Thanks to all the community people that are taking care of people such as this family who has not relative or no one to take care of them.

Get involved for a better community. In order to expand its operations Operation hunger is appealing for support, either financially or as a volunteer. You could become an OH Activist or even get the children involved with “OH Youth Action”

Forward with the women… Forward

Clement Summerton

Western Cape

(National Development Coordinator)





Participants from the two informal settlements flocked together at a central venue to attend a PRA work shop conducted by Operation Hunger and AECI representatives being Clement Summerton and Solomon Mojela. The PRA modules included area mapping, identification of socio-economic challenges such as unemployment, lack of skills, proper municipal services, and crime.


Lack of water and proper municipal services is the biggest challenge experienced by both two informal settlements namely Likazi & MNS. Out of seven  key  solutions  suggested to better the lives of the needy , job creation was identified as a number one need.  The least prioritized was the Police forum.

The piece of land earmarked for garden activities at Likazi is characterized by sinking holes however the 20 garden participants have shown confided that the sinking will not continue and the area just need to be leveled. It was decided that the  three Spazas will remain in the garden to be utilized by the participants when they sell their produce..  Quotations for Materials were been made and requisitions for payment will be sent to head office.

The Beneficiary ID collection process  was halted due to some disputes regarding beneficiary list at Likazi, and we therefore provided both two communities with receipts books that their pages are numbered from 1-100 and in duplicate to register all finalized beneficiaries’ names and that will be considered indisputable

. Pictures will be captured at our next visit at the hand over and Solomon and Clement will be in the field two days prior to the hand over day to finalize everything in time.

#Youth Month


For families around South Africa and the world, hunger means more than going to bed with an empty stomach. Getting the right kind of food at different stages of life can mean the difference between becoming a healthy adult — or not. So we must ensure that our children and the youth have the nutrients they need to stay healthy — and also the right support and tools to build a stronger economic future for themselves. #Youth Month

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