When Food for Life Cape Town visited “Where Rainbows Meet” in Vrygrond (near Muizenberg) on Mandela Day 2013, it was our intention to return ever since. Rainbows director Mymoena Scholtz and her husband Anwar kindly opened the community centre for us (they only open from Monday to Friday). At the outset, local residents rushed to the feeding centre to enjoy the delicious food prepared by Damodhar, Divyan and Nilesh. The last time when we were here, we were asked to “bring back the music”. As soon as the first drum beat sounded, the dancing began which went on ecstatically for over an hour, with children and adults alike boogying down and jumping for joy. Sweets kindly sponsored by Sanchia Ramparsad was also distributed. Volunteers who joined the FFL CT team this week were Kim Tulip-Finlay, Rob, Sanchia Ramparsad, Isaac, Saraswati Devi and Mrs Luckhoo.
This place has an interesting history which the team researched. Vrygrond simply means “Free Ground”, and comes from the legend that the land was given to the community by a wealthy Italian aristocrat who owned the area. The Vrygrond informal settlement is the oldest such informal settlement in the Cape. It is situated near the seaside town of Muizenberg, about 20 kilometers from central Cape Town. The first settlers were fishermen and their families. The years since then have not been kind to the people of Vrygrond. Today Vrygrond has grown to a settlement of approximately 8,000 people, equally divided between Afrikaans and English speaking Coloureds, and Xhosa speaking Blacks. Residents still struggle with the effects of poverty and rampant crime on a daily basis, yet despite this, the people of Vrygrond are still a friendly township, and FFL CT once again experienced this heart-warming friendliness first-hand.