“I hate my life,” is what founder of Baysic (Bellville Advent Youth Society in Contact) Sonja Miller remembered muttering numerously, as she weaved through traffic on Voortrekker road that morning.There she was sitting in her car, rain pelting down. Then she heard a loud knock. Startled, she turned to see a child standing at the passenger window.
Growing up in Cape Town, she was accustomed to people begging at the robots. This, however really threw her as he just stood there, staring. She recalled his sad face and eyes that fixated on her, the raindrops running down his cheeks, mimicking tears.
Not having been able to get the face of that boy out of her mind all day, she decided to take the same route home, in hope of seeing him again.
“Around the same set of robots I saw him sitting on the opposite pavement, I’d set out to find him, but hadn’t thought as far as to what I’d do if I did, but I got out and approached him,” she said. He explained his story to her, as she marvelled at his childlike innocence when opening up to her, a complete stranger.
She describes that moment as a defining one in her life; it’s where the idea for Baysic was born.
Inspired and desperate to help, the very next week she rallied a few of her neighbours and classmates and handed out soup in that very community.
The organisation is in its second year of existence, and now runs a weekly community food drive where they distribute between 500 and 1000 sandwiches, in and around the Bellville area.
Not only do they feed the less fortunate, the organisation also aims at recruiting young people specifically to be a part of this work. Through this, teaching them compassion and exposing them to the harsh reality of poverty in this country.
“I am always looking for ways to further the mission and reach more people, with the resources I have, it is through this that I began the Heart of Mission initiative,” she says, a plan to reach and feed 500 people in 1 week.
“We have 60 volunteers from the community, mostly housewives and pensioners that make up sandwich packets, funded by various fundraisers we have had during the year,” she says. The group of distributors meet at a decided spot in Voortrekker road and works their way from there to the Grand Parade in Cape Town, she explains.
This initiative has been running for the month of September, and the target has been met each time. Through this, they have managed to feed 2000 people amongst many of them that happen to be their only meal for the day. The initiative is set to continue till December.
“People ask me ‘what do you get out of it’, and I always say ‘the feeling one gets when you know you’ve made a difference, even in a small way, makes everything worth it. It only takes one, so let that one be you’.” She concluded.
Danielle van Wyk