"Due to the divorce of my marriage of 20 years, I lost everything I owned. I was facing a new stage in my life. No place to life, no clothes to wear. What I was left with was my Honda Brio which was still on Wesbank finance. I had bills to pay and 4 kids to feed. I felt financially, physically and spiritually destroyed. I developed a terrible depression until I came to a point it was either giving up or facing my challenges and looking for something positive in my life. Giving up was not an option."
Read more about how Donations on Wheels came to life
When Simbirisiyo from Zimbabwe first landed in South Africa 12 years ago, he was homeless and unemployed. It was a hard reality he had to face back then. He sometimes had to pinch himself to check if he was still alive. He wanted to do better. There were two options, either go up the ladder or fall down forever. He managed to get off the streets and move forward.
But in 2019 Simbirisiyo has lost everything he built. He took a pen and paper and made a list of things he wanted in order for his life to go forward. The first thing on the list was quality friends, and for him these were the homeless. They had no connection to his past life and since he himself was once homeless.
Second, he had to resume his job as an Uber driver. Unfortunately, his knee did not allow him to sit for more than 2 hours. He had to train his knee to get better. The doctor prescribed him long walks. But just walking around the neighborhood gave him no pleasure and simply made no sense to him. He wanted to combine his exercise with something meaningful. Again he thought of the homeless.
He had R120 and was sleeping in his car. But that didn't stop him from buying 3 loaves of bread and a pack of knickknacks. 26 portions came out of it. He drove to the homeless, 500 m before he took his walking cane and walked the rest.
They ate the dry bread together and he told them everything that was on his heart. That was the beginning of his healing process. For his knee and his soul.
He was getting better and better. At some point, he started asking people if they wanted to donate food or even just leftovers. He would pick up the donations and take them to the homeless. He always parked a little further away and walked the last bit. In the end, he walked 8 to 10 km a day and had reached the point where he no longer needed the walking cane.
The more energy he regained, the more he wanted to help the homeless. A small team of volunteers finally made it possible to officially found Donations on Wheels in 2021.
This allows us to not only accept food offerings locally in Stellenbosch, but also donations from around the world that help us make a difference.