Winter has arrived

Winter has arrived in the Southern Hemisphere – and the cold weather always amplifies the needs of underprivileged people and animals as they battle to survive in the swing from upper-30 degree Celsius weather to below-freezing temperatures.


The NGO sector in South Africa is often inundated with even more requests for help in the colder months than the immense needs it already sees throughout the warmer ones – and plenty are able to offer a sandwich, sanctuary and even salvation during challenging times.

Since 1982, The Homestead has run a number of different programmes that, together, provide a comprehensive response to the plight of children living, working and begging on the street. They operate a Prevention and Early Intervention Programme where children receive psycho-social and developmental support and a chance to experience growth.

The organisation’s belief that every child has a right to family or parental care – and in the absence of that care, they’ve established two Child and Youth Care Centres, the Bridge CYCC in Khayelitsha and LaunchPad Transitional CYCC in Observatory. The Bridge provides appropriate, therapeutic and developmental residential care so street children can successfully transition away from street life and back to their families. It helps 160 street children annually through the Homestead residential projects, consistently running at over 90% capacity with an absconding rate of less than 10%.


The LaunchPad Youth Transition Programme involves transitional residential care for youth aged 15 to 21 who are preparing to leave care, return home or move on to independent living. It helps them prepare for the practical considerations of accommodation, provides day-to-day-to-day living skills and helps them secure necessary documentation (ID, bank account, etc.). Since opening in February 2016 this project has shown a 100% success rate of stabilising youth out of care and into independent living and employment. The number of shelter children now motivated to stabilise and enter this project has risen by over 120%

Ladles of Love provides nutritious and wholesome food, available to all; supports farmers in growing natural, wholesome food in an economical and sustainable way and empowers food entrepreneurs to grow businesses that create jobs and add to the South African economy.

Capetonian restaurateur Danny Diliberto was inspired by participating in an Art of Living Foundation course that encouraged participants to give back to society to make use of his restaurant kitchen and cook up a fresh pot of soup to hand bowls out to homeless people in the city. Providing that first bowl of soup resulted in an experience that changed Danny’s life and led to him establishing Ladles of Love in 2014.


The organisation’s first soup kitchen was formalised that years when a small team of volunteers came together to serve 70 hot meals – and 10 years later, it is still operational – but Ladles of Love now, having grown exponentially to provide food relief during the COVID pandemic – serves nearly a million meals a month to vulnerable people, mostly children, in the Western Cape, Northern Cape and Gauteng.

Homeless animals also suffer during the colder months and Wet Nose Animal Rescue Centre is dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation, and rehoming of abandoned, abused, and neglected animals, offering a second chance at a loving home.

The centre has been finding animal homes and saving pets since July 1999. As a Right to Life animal shelter, they do not put animals to sleep unless they are suffering, and it is in the best interest of that animal. Instead, they provide shelter for dogs, cats, horses, and many more. Their welfare centre provides care for over 600 animals until they find them a forever home. They also operate a Pretoria-centred dog, cat, and horse rescue without any government or municipal funding and survive on the generosity of the animal-loving public, as well as what they can generate through various small ventures.


Providing a warm meal or some shelter solves a short-term problem, but organisations like these – which are all MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet beneficiaries – work to develop sustainable solutions to the challenges they and the people and animals who depend on them, face.

Support The Homestead and Get a Free card or link your Woolies card today.
Ladles of Lovel and  Get a Free card or link your Woolies card today.
WetNose Animal Rescue Centre and Get a Free card or link your Woolies card today.