Every Monday a Caledon couple, Issah and Ruwaydah Watson of CORAHS (Caledon Overberg Rise Against Hunger Scheme), have to find somebody to transport four enormous pots, two two-flame gas burners, a huge gas bottle as well as all the food to be cooked that day to the Vleiview Hall for them. This is where they prepare, cook and hand between 485 to 500 hearty meals out to needy members of the community every week.
“We have no transport,” Issah told Hermanus Times. “I had my own transport company in Cape Town, but I sold all that to keep this project going.”
He moved to Caledon after marrying Ruwaydah, who has lived there for 32 years.
As for what prompted him to start this feeding scheme, Issah related: “When I arrived in Caledon I saw there was not much going on for the youth, and many people’s lives were deurmekaar. My wife then got a vision that this (the feeding scheme) is what God had shown her. When she uttered those words to me I said to her that if that is the case we need to obey. Being a Muslim I had to do what the calling was upon my wife.
“We find security in what we are doing because giving is living. People are in dire need. We cook the meals with love. We give them tasty and nourishing food. We will not serve anything we would not happily eat ourselves.”
On the day of Hermanus Times’s visit pea soup, bean and beef stew, rice as well as noodles were served.
“We are feeding a community from a diverse set of backgrounds and it makes me feel fulfilled to do this.”
Watson said that most of the food is donated by Muslim people in Cape Town who come to their aid by giving what they can.
“We are speaking to various organisations to come on board. This is all about growing and community building.
“If we get transport, we will be able to serve a larger community. We need to serve the whole of the Overberg. As we grow, we would like to employ people. Creating jobs will benefit the unemployed. That is our vision forward.”
Ruwaydah, who originally hails from Swellendam, said: “This is my everything. I put all my passion into these pots. I will walk that extra mile to do this. This food is cooked with love.”
Should anybody wish to contribute in any way to the Watsons’ labour of love for their fellow humanity, Issah can be contacted on 073 215 8028.