Hannah Nebe is 14, a valley girl, and has a horse named Sunshine.
But Hannah is not your typical teen – she spends her weekends helping her mom Monica Mason and grandmother Frances Grendon feeding people who are homeless.
In preparation for Human Rights Day, Wednesday March 21, Hannah is asking for donations to enable her to put together care packages for the people she has met, who are homeless.
On Sundays, there are at times 200 homeless people who are fed in the city centre and the family are now extending their care to the homeless in Muizenberg. “Hannah is such a special young girl. An incredible human being. I am extremely proud of her,” said Ms Grendon.
The three generations of women became involved with Pat Pillay-Louw through a non-profit organisation she has set up in her husband’s memory. The organisation is called RPJ Helping Hands – Love All Serve All and RPJ stands for Rodney Peter Junior (NPO 2017/203370/08)
“This initiative was inspired by my husband Rodney P Louw who passed away on September 26, 2016,” Ms Louw said. “This is my tribute to honour Rodney’s life and our love. This initiative has since touched the lives of hundreds of homeless and needy people.
“Our motto is ‘Love All Serve All’. Many volunteers have joined us and find solace in our activities and are able to transform grief and pain into something positive; thereby finding peace within to go on in life,” Ms Louw said.
Ms Louw uses the kitchen and space at the Carpenter’s Workshop in Roeland Street in the city centre for her work.
Monica Mason, Hannah’s mom, describes how she became involved.
“I had to open a store in the city centre and for three months I worked full day in town and was exposed to the amount of street kids and homeless people every day, right in my face,” she said.
She said this brought up all sorts of emotions.
“Even though many of us are aware of poverty we can be sheltered from it, and I then realised I had to find a way to help. I was inspired by Braam Malherbe and his do one thing call. I knew I had to somehow help the homeless; so I went onto Facebook that night and I came across RPJ Helping Hands and saw their call for assistance,” she said.
Ms Mason decided that every Sunday she would help feed the homeless. Moved by what she was doing, she invited her mom and daughter to join her. “They embraced it … it is so incredibly rewarding words cannot describe it, and it’s emotional when in 20 minutes you can feed over 150 people,” Ms Mason said.
Then one day Hannah decided on her own she was going to organise a collection drive as her own initiative. Hannah said she designed a flyer and momentum grew. She then decided to join the Impact Club at Fish Hoek High School where she is a Grade 8 pupil. The club is also assisting with the drive.
“Hannah told me the reason she wanted to do this was because she felt so guilty when helping feed the homeless, that she has so much, and yet so many have nothing. She wanted to make a difference,” Ms Mason said. She said that Pat is so warm and all the volunteers have been phenomenal that you can’t help but be inspired to make a difference and help without judgement.
Ms Louw said that since since October 2016 until current, her NPO has served over 12 00 meals and given over 500 grocery hampers throughout Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg. “It’s inspiring to watch the display of dignity, gratitude and love displayed by the people who receive our service – a humble bowl of food has been able to transfer love and gratitude to all involved,” Ms Louw said.
Ms Mason said contributions to Hannah’s drive can be collected if necessary but there are collection points: Fish Hoek High School is one, Epic Print in Muizenberg is another.
Hannah and her mom and gran have extended their service to feeding the homeless in Muizenberg as a way of directly contributing to their own community. Ms Grendon puts it this way: “Hannah rides a horse whose name is Sunshine; and she wants to bring a bit of sunshine to those unfortunate folk who find themselves on the street.”
Hannah is hoping for donations of the items most people take totally for granted: toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap, sanitary products, facecloths and deodorant to assemble in care packages. She will
be distributing the care packages on Human Right’s Day. You can WhatsApp Hannah on 062 441 3498 or her mom Monica on 082 968 3004.
You can also contact Ms Louw on 083 564 0564 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org,za