Atlantis pensioner has little but she shares it anyway
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CAPE TOWN - At almost 80 years old, Nella Bailey wakes up as early as 7am every day to cook breakfast and lunch for her community of Atlantis on her tiny pensioner’s budget.
Fondly known as “Ouma Nella”, Bailey feeds about 60 to 70 children and the elderly in her community.
Ouma Nella said she feeds the needy because she knows hunger.
“I'm from the Northern Cape between Douglas and Salt Lake. I grew up there and was 5 years old when my mother passed away – she had 13 children. My dad raised us after my mother’s death and he never remarried. I know poverty and hunger,” she said.
“I saw how hungry children suffer when they get to your door. God won't allow you to chase kids away. And when a child’s eyes tear, they are hungry. That’s why I cook for them out of my own pocket. The little I have I give but at that the moment we don't have anything to keep feeding them… our gas is also out. But we remain hopeful.”
The initiative came about when a soup kitchen run by her granddaughter, Chanre van der Merwe and her aunt during the hard lockdown last year ran out of food.
“We did not have any more food. But children were still coming to the house and asking for porridge and my granny said let’s just continue.
“Because the circumstances around us are very hard, because of drugs and alcohol abuse, the children are left to fend for themselves,” said Van der Merwe.
His Family Christian Fellowship church administrator, Russell Williams said Bailey was enthusiastic about the work that she does.
The church has assisted Bailey with both ingredients and big pots to make porridge through the churches non-profit organisation.
“She is very energetic, I think that comes from the love of what she does and the love for her community. She’s loving and can be very strict, but it all comes from a good place of someone who wants to reach out and help,” he said.
To offer assistance, Bailey can be contacted on 081 552 6318.