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CTM Hero: Warrant Officer Andries Douglas ‘Chef to the homeless’
Serving the community in his personal and professional life
Accounts of police brutality has flooded the headlines in South Africa and plenty of negativity continues to be associated with our law enforcement officials of late. It is particularly heartwarming and reassuring then,to meet a man of the law who not only takes pride in his chosen path but goes over and above his call of duty to meet the needs of the ‘forgotten’ people of Cape Town - homeless people.
While most of us are rushing to get ready for our workday ahead, Warrant Officer Andries Douglas is already donning his apron,preparing a hearty breakfast for the Cape’s homeless. This man with a heart of a humanitarian is truly a shining example to all, having already done so much to make the lives of the Cape’s homeless less dire. During winter last year he went around placing extra blankets over people sleeping on the streets.
He says, " You get to know these people, you realise they are just hungry and I remember being hungry like that as a young boy. It's like when a single mother sees that her children are hungry, her instincts kick in and she'll do whatever she has to do to feed them, it's a natural reaction and that's what it's like for me. It's easy to give, anyone can do that, but what they really appreciate is your time, the time you put in to get to know them, to remember that they are still people, who need that human connection and to be treated with dignity".
Now dubbed ‘the chef to the homeless’, Andries sets up his gas stove and prepares scrambled eggs, toast and cherry tomatoes for the homeless with the hope that they are able to start the cold winter mornings on the right foot. He believes in policing from the heart and truly has a passion for his job, he says “serving my people and engaging with them is the best way to start my day.” The gratitude that he has met with makes taking a few minutes out of his day and relinquishing the few bucks spent on the ingredients all worth it when he gets to feed up to 37 people. A warm meal might not mean much to those who don’t go a day without one, but when given from the heart to less fortunate people, it’s like giving them a little piece of hope for humanity.
It is now with great pleasure and privilege that we give Warrant Officer Andries Douglas the title of CapeTownMagHero!
Written by Shannon Fortune
#CapeTownMagHero is a new CapeTownMagazine.com project that tells of ordinary people doing extraordinary things. The Mother City’s diverse people are what make our city great! We honour those who use their time to make other lives more pleasant by bringing you the story. Do you know a #CapeTownMagHero? Email your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow #CapeTownMagHeroes on Twitter and Facebook and subscribe to our newsletter to track recent stories.