I am Zelda Lategan. Co-founder and chairperson of Angels United Helping Hands.
I was raised in a home where sharing love and what we had was part of growing up. As a child I noticed that my parents did not only give but they also received, so I grew up in a caring and loving community called Bonteheuwel.
My goal was always to give back to the under privileged. My social responsibility started when I entered the corporate world and I earned a salary. I started sharing immediately with my family as my responsibility and thereafter to people on the streets.
In 1993 I started buying 10 KFC streetwise 2 meals for kids every month with my salary. This was besides my random act of kindness buying kids a big bag of samba chips, a Cadbury chocolate and a coke whenever I saw them begging at shop entrances.
In 2008 I travelled to work via train. On my way to the office in Cape Town I would walk past a lot of homeless people. I decided to pack some sandwiches in and hand out to the homeless people on Thursday mornings. Later I started buying fish and chips from a fish café in town and hand out fish and chips rolls during lunch times.
My desire to give to the needy and the homeless grew more and more. Eventually I joined various charity organisations and assisted wherever I could.
In 2015 I agreed with Angelika, a lady from Germany, to start Angels United Helping Hands. It was a dream come true. Some of the ladies whom has been doing charity events with me has joined the group. We are now a registered organisation who does more than just feeding the hungry.
Every day we spread our wings further than the day before.
I recently started an after school program from home. I assist primary school children with completing their homework and projects. Every day they have a 40 minutes reading session, which is compulsory. The reason why I started this is because statistics show that +/- 78% of South Africa grade 4 children cannot read and comprehend. Our aim is to grow this and expand so that we can erect a facility where we assist school learners in the foundation phase. Presently I have six girls attending the program. I will soon start teaching these girls more life skills which exceed school work. Our aim is to expose them to entrepreneurial skills and finance. Yes, many will say that they are too young but we would like for these kids to be in advance and prepared for their future.
We are presently discussing and deciding on starting a Saturday reading room.
We have so much more that we would like to do to uplift young children as well as women. All the help we can get will be appreciated.