Do you know what the slaughterhouse looks like? You would see big animals coming in at one end and little cuts of meat leaving through the other, like particles of meats taking different directions in the air as the animals are butchered, and you find a great number of people who troop in daily because that’s what they do to afford bread, they are workers, they don’t even have the right kits for their hustle and no one cares, the environment isn’t good at all but they must survive, they could get infected and even spread germs to people who live around. Yes, people live around the slaughterhouse, mostly physically-challenged, and those who rely on daily meals. This category was the target of the Reach Kitchen outreach. The Reach kitchen is an outreach of The REACH Foundation which hands out cooked food and is geared towards people most especially the homeless, those who have to bother first about finding a place to lay their heads before getting pots to cook their meals.
Did you think being homeless was a joke? or not having food to eat isn’t real? The struggle is real! For four hours I battled with indecisiveness, maybe I lacked what to eat at the moment and this wasn’t easy at all because hunger turned me into a motivational speaker that day, and I couldn’t stop feeling bad for people who do not even have hope of food for days, how do they even cope? I asked.
Well today, volunteers went out to reach out to those in need. Vulnerable people stay around during the evisceration of animals, who knows luck may get to them and big chunks of meat may fall on their path. Hunger is a pandemic that has existed for ages but we ignored it and it is slowly eating up the worms of people. These are normal people like you and I but the world is just not fair to them. Who eats at the slaughterhouse or live there you may wonder, but people do. The well being and safety of these people is something to talk about but let’s leave that and talk about something I guess must have spoken to the hearts of all the volunteers and they must have been thanking God for the privileges they enjoy.
A crippled mother with twins, too many disabled people, severe disabilities that place them at the mercy of others, if you don’t look out for them who knows what would happen to them. How do you think these people survive even with the spread of the pandemic? How do they cope? I am sure, nature has a way of identifying those who lay prostrate before her looking up to her for sustainability.
Just so you know, The REACH team was harassed by the “area boys” who threatened them and asked to be consulted before using “their space” and also pay them before doing anything in their area. Let’s ignore the ordeals of these boys with the government that made them grieve so much that they blasted volunteers who came to help, maybe they are sad that the society has failed them, one actually said this to volunteers “make una get out from here before I stone una with water” a young guy who was very angry, maybe because he felt they have been neglected for long. We understood, we saw people that are impoverished, neglected, disadvantaged in society and which have resulted in them causing trouble and engaging in crime.
Being able to ensure people followed protocols made everything easy as we moved out from that space of harassment. There were a lot of hungry people, children in need, sick people, oh, what about that woman who would quiver while talking? It was an ailment, they need special attention and care.
When the environment became really tense and uncomfortable for the volunteers they had to leave for another location. A volunteer said to me “I was really sad, because I couldn’t get to give food to that woman who quivered and that other crippled man, there was another one too, but with the rush and tension we couldn’t extend the packs to them, it hurts me because they needed it”. This was intentionality speaking.
We are not just passing the message that we fed people today, but we want us all to see that there is a section of our society that is populated with people who are disabled, poor, hungry, sick, maybe this is as a result of the societal gap, pressure and poverty. We are calling on more people to support our programs and ensure that no one is left to suffer hunger.