Young woman devotes her life to feeding the homeless

Young woman devotes her life to feeding the homeless

We caught up with Mbali Mthombeni - the founder of the ‘Love In Action’ organisation, who is reaching out to the homeless in different parts of the country.

Mbali Mthombeni
Mbali Mthombeni/ Supplied

June is youth celebration month in South Africa, and one of those young people who deserves to be celebrated is 25-year-old Mbali Mthombeni from the Vaal in Gauteng.

Mbali has purpose in her heart to do kind deeds to the often neglected in society - the homeless.

“As society we have shunned people who are living on the streets. They are outcasts. We would walk down the streets and pretend they are not there,” says Mbali.

She says at times we do see them, but rather judge them or refuse to help them because we think they are going to buy drugs.

Mbali says she decided to put aside all stereotypes about the homeless and show God’s love to them. In 2018, she founded her charity organisation, called ‘Love in Action’, where they feed and clothe the homeless with the hope of reconciling them with their families. 

“We feed people that live on the street twice a month. On a fortnightly basis, we go out onto the streets and we feed the people. It’s not a soup kitchen, but we provide a warm, full meal for them," says Mbali.

She says she gets people to sponsor clothes, food, and sanitary towels for some of the women who are living on the streets.

“More than that, we want to reach them on a spiritual level. We find out why they are living on the streets and the second step is rehabilitating them and trying to reconcile them with their families. The third step is for them to get back into society and fulfill the purpose that God has called them to,” says the 25-year-old.

“I believe so strongly that no one just wakes up from their house, whether it’s a zozo (shack) or a 15-bedroom house to go sleep on the streets,” says Mbali.

So far, her organisation feeds more than 100 people a month in Cape Town and Gauteng. 

“In the last year, it’s been happening in Cape Town in Claremont. I strongly believe in servicing the community that God has placed you in, and so for the past year while I was living in Cape Town, this is what we were doing,” says Mbali. 

She says the organisation is sustained by sponsors. 

“The previous year I sent out a video asking for sponsors to give out R25 a month for a year or give R300 a year and that has been how we have been sustained,” says Mbali. 

“I moved back home in April in the Vaal, so we had our first drive in May, where we launched ‘Love In Action GP’ and we are servicing the community that I am in. We service about 70 people a week, and alternate within different spots in the Vaal."

“Love in Action is my heart. Last year we had a Christmas drive where we had people donate food, Bibles, and clothes. People gave over and above what we expected. Now in winter, we are going to have a blanket drive,” says Mbali.

She says she soon hopes to get a rehab centre to rehabilitate the homeless people who are addicted to drugs and nyaope. She also hopes to branch out to all the provinces in the country. “We also want a building where we’ll be able to conduct phase 2 (rehabilitation, counselling) and phase 3 (skills workshops) to assist in getting them back into society,” says Mbali.

READ: From university drop-out to successful businesswoman

To donate contact Mbali on Facebook

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