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Brazilian women feed Gqeberha’s destitute with typical South American flair

Claudia Skein, left, and Deize Soares cook and distribute food to the less fortunate
LATIN INITIATIVE: Claudia Skein, left, and Deize Soares cook and distribute food to the less fortunate
Image: FREDLIN ADRIAAN

A Brazilian woman is cooking up a storm for the less fortunate with the help of her fellow South American friends, all living in Gqeberha.

Moved by the level of poverty in certain parts of Nelson Mandela Bay, Deize Soares, 40, decided to start a feeding scheme eight months ago and roped in about 20 of her Brazilian friends to assist.

“After I feed the less fortunate, it feels like I can breathe again,” Soares, a mother and housewife in Summerstrand who moved to the city nearly four years ago from São Paulo, said.

She approached her friends on a WhatsApp group to ask for food donations.

Claudia Skein, 50, said they all thought it was a wonderful idea and were excited to partner with Soares.

“While driving on my way to drop the children at school or while going to the shops, I would see a lot of people asking for help, especially at the robots, and my heart would break,” Soares said.

“That is when I decided I wanted to do something. Coming from a small city in Brazil, I was part of a Catholic association and each church in my city would have groups which would give to the poor in the locations.”

She said helping others was in her blood as her mother also used to donate her time to the less fortunate in her home country.

She next plans to cook a mince pasta dish with vegetables, which will be placed in containers and then delivered to people in the streets.

“When we give food to people, especially those with children, they come across as so grateful,” Soares said.

“I love to cook so I put a lot of kindness into my food.”

She distributes food in Summerstrand, Humewood and Walmer, and thanked all the people who had made donations.

The initiative started with the group of Brazilian women, but soon branched out to other members of the public. 

They also give food to grass-cutters and people working on the side of the road.

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