Each month Lead SA, in partnership with Stratum Cares, asks you to nominate someone who is doing exceptional work in our community.
Your nomination puts them in the running of being named the month’s Lead SA Hero.
By sharing these stories with you, we hope that fellow South Africans will be inspired to become active citizens in their own communities.
Our LeadSA Stratum hero for July Stephan Fereirra, founder of, Charity Begins With Me - an organization that feeds, caters for and nurtures children.
Recently diagnosed with leukaemia and still undergoing chemo and bone marrow biopsies, he still makes time to care for the less fortunate.
Fereirra says he was diagnosed with Leukaemia in 2013 and was recently re-diagnosed in March this year.
My first diagnosis was overwhelming, you are 28-years-old and they tell you that you've got cancer.— Stephan Fereirra, founder of Charity Begins With Me
You don't know what to do with your life, it's scary and then you get to a point where you realise that you can either sit in a corner and feel sorry for yourself, or you can make the best of the time that you have.— Stephan Fereirra, founder of Charity Begins With Me
And that is what I decided to do.— Stephan Fereirra, founder of Charity Begins With Me
He adds that being diagnosed with cancer was not the starting point for him as he has always been involved with charity projects.
But it definitely exhilarated things and just gave me that more drive to see this through and make a difference and leave something worthy behind.— Stephan Fereirra, founder of Charity Begins With Me
He adds that he adopted a small feeding scheme in one of the informal settlements in Roodepoort and at the time they had 55 children that came from different areas.
It was supposed to be a four-week project and at the end of the four weeks we ended up with 375 children.— Stephan Fereirra, founder of Charity begins with me
He says he wasn't ready to move on after the project and leave these kids behind.
I wasn't ready, how do you leave these kids behind and every week more and more children showed up and at the moment we serve lunch to between 650 and 850 children every Saturday morning.— Stephan Fereirra, founder of Charity Begins with Me
Listen below to the full interview: