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An incredible South African, who has dedicated her life to helping others in need, found herself in a heartbreaking situation but South Africans stepped up to assist her.

 

Beauty Mnci has dedicated her life to those in need, for many years she worked as a caretaker at The Maurice Freeman Community centre in Bertram’s. Employed by the government, her main responsibilities were to keep the centre clean and tidy.

Ever cognizant of others, the passionate South  African became aware of the many starving children in the area whose parents were either unemployed, absent/deceased or addicted to drugs and alcohol.

“Undeterred Beauty tried feeding these kids on her own meagre salary, but her resources were so limited.”

It was tragically after the funeral of a 2 year old toddler, killed by his father after being thrown into a wall for screaming for porridge, that Beauty knew she had to do more. That incredibly heartbreaking story set her off on a quest to feed the hungry, love the broken and become a haven to the abused and neglected children roaming the streets.

She was feeding the kids daily and ensuring kids felt safe at the Maurice Freeman Rec Centre. She linked up with the Angel Network and was even providing birthday cakes for the kids on a monthly basis.

Beauty truly encapsulates what it means to be a mother.

The Angel Network became involved with “Bertram’s mother” and “her children” in February 2016. FeedSA also joined the initiative, providing food 365 days of the year, which Beauty uses to prepare a hot meal daily for the children.

“Divine intervention was at play the day Beauty came into our lives as she persisted from office to office in the area, requesting donations for food.”

Initially there were 40 children coming to the centre to be fed but this number has grown to over 100 little hungry mouths who visit the centre every day for a meal.

Auntie Beauty, as she is lovingly called, provides a safe space, where the kids love spending time as she cooks, arranges bible studies weekly and welcomes everyone with open arms. The Angel Network have also been able to organize birthday cakes for every child, something that most of them have never had before, as well as special Friday lunches delivered there weekly by volunteers and restaurants.

In September 2016, Beauty proudly attended her one son’s graduation where, as an overjoyed parent she smiled for photo’s with him in cap and gown.

Who could’ve predicted that within weeks he and his brother would tragically die in a horrific fire, leaving Beauty bereft and traumatized beyond comprehension.

Having given so many years of her life to helping other people’s children, Beauty suffered the ultimate loss, not once, but twice, on the same day.

“We, as a network, grieve as one for the unimaginable pain that our very own, special angel, Beauty is enduring. No parent should have to bury their child but to bury two children on the same day, is inconceivable. For a woman who has devoted her life to feeding others’ children to have to now bury 2 of her own, is beyond comprehension and we have been totally shattered by this horrific tragedy. Our hearts go out to Beauty and her family as they try and learn to breathe again.”

“This is beyond human rationalization. Needless to say, Beauty is unable to continue her work and there are now over 100 starving children who were totally dependent on her for food, love and care.”

After the tragic fire that took place, the building stood empty for almost 1.5 years as the City of Johannesburg renovated.

The Angel Network’s community members jumped on board to assist. Donations in the form of money and food flowed in, to assist the hundreds of hungry kids as well as Beauty during her time of need but something bigger had to be done.

In January this year, Boys & Girls Clubs of South Africa launched their third Boys & Girls Club to carry on Beauty’s legacy – to provide a safe space for ‘her’ kids after school, and to support them holistically – by helping with homework, providing a meal a day, and giving them access to programs and activities every day after school.

The Centre has new life, and the Boys & Girls Club of Bertrams was born out of a partnership between BGCSA and COJ. Kids now have a dedicated space where they do their homework, guided by trained staff and volunteers, and where they can be themselves. 250 kids signed up within the first 3 weeks, and the Club is now full of life with kids participating in educational programs, learning to play the marimbas, dance, drama, and choir. There is much more to come from the Club and it is only just beginning.

Laura Parker, Director of BGCSA, explains that BGCSA had been planning the Club for almost 2 years when the tragedy struck.

“We had been in the background, building a community support for the initiative, and a funding base. A key factor in why the Club made sense in Bertrams was because of the existing relationship kids had with Beauty and the Centre. It was already a place where kids had a sense of belonging, so it made sense for us to build on that.” She goes on to share “The years it took us to get this off the ground were extremely challenging, but now with the kids signed up, the grateful feedback from parents, and the changes we are already seeing, it is a true blessing that all of our hard work will go to benefit the kids who need us most.”

This is a true tribute to what Auntie Beauty started, and she continues to ask of the children and how they are doing. This just shows you how one inspirational lady can make a difference in the community, and the ripple effect when we all join hands.

If you want to help in anyway, or get involved, contact Boys & Girls Clubs of South Africa on info@bgcsa.org. Boys & Girls Clubs of South Africa is an NPO with three Clubs in Pimville, Protea Glen, and now Bertrams. The organization is also planning additional sites in partnership with the City of Johannesburg to support kids during those traditionally idle and unsupervised hours after school. Follow on social media to keep up with their progress and growth: F: @BGCSouthAfrica, I: @bgcsa, T: @bgcsa_pimville.


Sources: BGCSA
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About the Author

Brent Lindeque is the founder and editor in charge at Good Things Guy.

Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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