TAKE THE TIME TO DO YOUR PART Paul Engebrecht is a recipient of two toebroodjies, courtesy of volunteer students with the aim to decrease hunger around Stellenbosch.
Toebroodjie, a team of 25 students at Stellenbosch University (SU), have made it their mission to bring awareness to hunger in Stellenbosch and the loneliness that street life can bring.
Toebroodjie is an organisation that is run by Carl Prinsloo as well as Megan Cromhout.
Prinsloo said that Toebroodjie visits the homeless in the streets of Stellenbosch once a week.
The team currently provides two sandwiches to 35-40 homeless people, and they also spend time talking to them.
According to Prinsloo, the homeless are used to people giving them money and then sending them away. The team is divided into smaller groups and the route they usually take starts at Die Braak. They make their way to the police station and the Stelkor pharmacy.
He added that they also take into account the safety risks of the area and are working on adding more routes when their team expands. Toebroodjie has an Instagram page (@toebroodjies) where they share some of the stories of the people that they help.
According to Prinsloo, Toebroodjie wants to post positive stories on Instagram to tell the life stories of the homeless.
“The aim of the platform isn’t actually to get people to feel sorry for them, we want to show everyone that you can add to people’s happiness in a positive sense,” Prinsloo said. He added that giving the homeless a platform to share their stories restores a sense of humanity in society. Paul Engelbrecht, a homeless man who does gardening work at St Mary’s Anglican Church and Rhenish, said that many of the homeless sit at the taxi rank and have no jobs to make money to feed themselves.
He said that the sandwiches he received from Toebroodjie gave him energy so that he could work. Cathleen May, a homeless woman, says students from Toebroodjie approached her when she was sitting on a bench at Die Braak.
She added that what she enjoyed the most about the visit was that she got to talk to them.
Prinsloo said that their plan is to visit various residences and private student organisations (PSOs) in order to expand Toebroodjie beyond the town of Stellenbosch by having more people join the team.
He added Toebroodjie is not exclusive to the students of SU.
Prinsloo said that people can contribute by giving bread, bread spread, cling wrap and foil, ready-made sandwiches, money, old clothes, blankets and they can also join the team to prepare and hand out sandwiches.
“It truly is a humbling experience, opens one’s eyes and changes one’s perspective on the workings of society,” Prinsloo said.
To join the team or donate send Toebroodjies a direct message via @toebroodjies or contact them on 072 024 7790.
Photo: Fourie Möller