A four-year-old girl was seen eating bread through a plastic bag on Saturday when a former beggar and his team distributed food parcels to the residents of Ehrlichpark in Bloemfontein.
Chris Snyman, 55, a mechanic these days, was on the streets for six years after leaving home as a teenager.
Now he has finally left his past behind, he says, and it is at his heart to offer people on the street jobs, because of the lockdown, it is a hundred times more difficult for them.
He and a team of helpers distributed food parcels for 16 families on Saturday after several companies donated money and discounted a few stores to accommodate them.
To see a four-year-old girl chewing the bread through the plastic because she couldn’t wait for her mother to unpack their food pack at home.
“It caught me ugly because it reminded me of my past. It is not a way of life. Seeing those kids’ faces at eleven in the morning left me cold. “
Although food parcels alleviate the need for that day, it is not a sustainable method of help, he says.
“To give them human dignity, they will have to work, even if it’s temporary work, and that’s where I want to assist them.”
He calls on businesses to create opportunities for people on the street, such as welding and construction.
“Even if you just take him to clean your garden so he can buy nappies for his child.”