The Diocese of Polokwane provides hostel accommodation to over 600 children who attend the various Catholic schools in rural Limpopo province. The cost of feeding a child between the ages of 5 and 18, three nutritious balanced meals a day is approximately R14.00 per day. Historically, these children were cared for by nuns and brothers from various orders assisted by lay workers. All the needs of the children were taken care of by these religious workers. With the sharp decline in vocations and with many of the religious workers retiring, some of the services have had to be curtailed or in some cases given entirely over to lay people.
The cost of housing, feeding and caring on a daily basis for 5 – 18 year olds is enormous. In the past with nuns and brothers providing the labour the cost could be kept as low as possible and the fees were affordable to parents.
The Abbey as part of its skills training programmes offers food preparation and cooking skills training to the unemployed. The Bishop and Abbey decided that together they could continue to provide a feeding service the equal of any government boarding school at the fraction of the price. This enables children from poorer families or those who are at risk to obtain an excellent education at good Catholic schools and receive meals that provide the necessary nutrition and energy to support their learning and physical development. `
This year we will be providing over 500 000 breakfasts, lunches and suppers to children staying in Diocesan School Hostels.