The economic crisis triggered by South Africa's strict lockdown in response to the Coronavirus pandemic has plunged many vulnerable South Africans further into poverty with food insecurity now a daily worry for scores of South Africa's poorest residents. In response to this crisis the nation's many feeding schemes, non-profit organisations and charities have focused their attentions on ensuring that the most vulnerable South Africans have adequate supplies of food and other essentials during this lockdown.
If you would like to support the many charities helping the poorest during this time of crisis, here are some excellent organisations asking for assistance.
Launched in April 2020 #10MillionMasks is a grassroots campaign that has mobilised thousands of South African volunteers across the country to manufacture and distribute cloth face masks for free to the many South Africans who may not be able to afford one. In order to reach a goal of producing 10 million masks, the #10MillionMasks campaign is connecting up those who can sew with available materials. #10million masks relies on donations from the public to buy the fabrics needed by their sewing circles to make masks. They are also empowering sewers who themselves are in vulnerable financial situations to make a living by taking orders from businesses and individuals with the means to buy masks (masks cost R30 each). You can donate to buy masks for the needy today online here, one mask costs just R30.
The Angel Network is a voluntary organization that harnesses the power of social media to organise where help is needed, enabling and connecting those who would like to give back with those charities in need. Through its supporters The Angel Network organising feeding schemes, sanitation initiatives, winter clothing drives and education supply drives for charitable institutes such as orphanages, outreach centres, schools and homeless shelters across the country. The Angel Network is not affiliated to any one charity, but rather uses its network to offer assistance to established welfare organisations, whenever and wherever help is needed. Find out here how to offer your time, donations or resources to an Angel Network initiative in your community.
Rays of Hope is a charity that works together with more than 30 other organisations in Alex to provide support to the community's most vulnerable - with a special focus on supporting child-headed households, the elderly and those suffering from chronic illnesses including HIV/AIDS. Rays of Hope has launched the Hope 4 Alex campaign to distribute thousands of food packages to the neediest residents. Find out more and donate to the Hope 4 Alex fund here.
Afrika Tikkun is a South African charity focused especially on supporting disadvantaged and impoverished young South Africans across the country 'from cradle to career' through feeding schemes, educational programmes and health and social services. To support their communities through the crisis Afrika Tikkun has launched the Neighbour to Neighbour programme. The programme provides food parcels, essential sanitation items such as masks, gloves and sanitisers and educational information about how to protect against the Coronavirus to the townships and informal settlements where they have programmes including Alexandra, Diepsloot, Orange Farm and the Joburg inner city. Donate a food package or protective gear and sanitation package here.
Mould Empower Serve (MES) provides essential services, including social relief, hospice care, health awareness programmes, educational skills development and homeless shelters to the impoverished and homeless in Hillbrow, Kempton Park, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town. They are currently raising money to enhance health screening and contact tracing programmes at their homeless shelters, provide food relief, improve facilities and provide increased access to hygiene solutions for the homeless. Donate to the MES Homeless Support Fund here.
NOSH Food Rescue NPC aims to reduce food insecurity, by diverting, repurposing, and redistributing prepared and perishable surplus food from restaurants, cafes and markets that is still wholesome and nutritious for use in soup kitchens. Through their Kitchens with Compassion campaign they are canvasing support to increase the capacity of their soup kitchens during this crisis.
In the neighbourhoods that lie within east Joburg's Makers Valley - such as Bertrams, Bez Valley, New Doornfontein, Troyeville and Lorentzville, the Makers Valley Partnership, which in usual times supports artists and artisans who live and work in the area and community arts-based projects, has launched some innovative initiatives aimed at improving food security and helping the local micro-economy.
A voucher scheme has been piloted with electronic vouchers that can be redeemed for parcels of food, sanitary products and basic toiletries at local Spaza shops. Individuals in need are identified by community fieldworkers from local charitable organisations. Individuals identified receive a voucher on their phone which they can use at one of five local Spaza shops. A Back-a-Buddy campaign has been launched to raise funds for the food parcels. Donate at www.backabuddy.co.za/food-security
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