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Matriculants in poor area fed breakfast before writing exams

Matriculants at Heideveld Secondary School are fed breakfast before they write their final exams every morning. Picture: Supplied

Matriculants at Heideveld Secondary School are fed breakfast before they write their final exams every morning. Picture: Supplied

Published Nov 11, 2021

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As matrics write their final school exam many do so hungry because of Covid-19 has left many parents unemployed and further caused devastation in poor neighbourhoods

But founder of local charity Hope for the Future Vanessa Nelson has started an initiative to feed the matriculants of Heideveld Secondary School.

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The matriculants are served a breakfast filled with options including cereal, fresh fruit, eggs or sandwiches, muffins and even pancakes before they write their exams every morning.

Heideveld Secondary School has 183 matriculants.

Nelson said she had thought about wanting to do it for the pupils in the area where she lives because she saw how many people were hungry.

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“A lot of them don’t have anything to eat in the morning. Some don’t even have food to eat throughout the day or supper at home,” she said.

She added: “We want them to relax and unwind. Just have a moment where they can speak about life outside of the exams.”

Nelson said they want matriculants to be fed a nutritional meal each day.

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“We want them to go and write with a sound mind, knowing that they can focus and not have to be concerned about where their next meal comes from.”

Nelson and a team of women get to the school at 6 am every morning to prepare the food. Tables and chairs are set out and covered before everyone shares their meal.

“Before we eat every morning, we make sure that we say a prayer too.”

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While Hope for the Future runs many initiatives, including gender-based violence, this is a cause that Nelson plans to run annually in future.

“My kids would come home and tell me in the past of how their friends didn’t have lunch for the day,” she said.

She added: “I knew that this was something I had to do. I didn’t know how it would pan out but this is what came to mind.”

The Hope for the Future Team will be serving the matriculants until they write their last paper on December 1, and need donations in the form of food or money donations.

For donations, you can contact Vanessa Nelson on 076 073 6777.

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