Gayle Mcwalter and Gahlia Brogneri

Founding Directors of the Adonis Musati Project, Gayle McWalter and Gahlia Brogneri, are the recipients of the 2014 Inyathelo Award for Social Justice Philanthropy.

The tragic death of a young Zimbabwean called Adonis Musati, who died of starvation in 2007 while queuing outside the Home Affairs Offices in Cape Town to get his asylum papers, prompted friends Gayle and Gahlia to start making meals for refugees seeking sanctuary in the mother city. Supported by friends and family, the pair were soon co-ordinating the daily provision of hot meals to hundreds of asylum seekers who queue each day outside the Department of Home Affairs near the Foreshore.

In the first few years, Gayle and Gahlia’s contributions led to further support by many volunteers who both participated in the project and added to the operating expenses so that any donations could be spent on directly supporting the needs of the refugees. Now the project has a Director and paid staff and offices in Observatory.

Besides providing meals, the project also collects and distributes blankets, clothing and toiletries, provides emergency shelter and helps refugee’s access education and secure employment. A lay counselling and advice office along with a Peer Support Group Programme have also been established by Gayle and Gahlia to provide further support to this vulnerable community.