Despite the disappointments and heartbreak of the recent destruction wrought by looters, July 2021 has shown us the very best of South Africa too. A giving nation that has the power to instil pride even in the most trying of times. Overnight new volunteer organisations led by ordinary members of the public have sprung up, uniting communities and individuals to show support for each other and help devastated small businesses. And there is no shortage of inspiring established local organisations working tirelessly to support underserved communities get back on their feet and put food on the table too.
If you are looking to help the helpers, here's a look at some organisations in Joburg that you can support. Head here to the Rebuild SA Facebook group to find a RebuildSA project or clean up near you to get involved.
Make Soweto Ours - White City food garden projectA collaborative effort between singer Nomsa Mazwai's #FunkItImWalking movement, the Native Rebels cafe-bar, Biking Bandits, Noni's home dish and Rustic Creative Sunday Market, this grassroots movement is mobilising to develop a community food garden project in White City, Soweto. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for details on how you can support the initiative.
Future Females Rebuild a Business FundIn July 2021 the global Future Females organisation of female business leaders launched the Rebuild a Business Fund to support entrepreneurs and business owners across South Africa who have been impacted by the riots and looting, to get back on their feet. The organisation is collecting donations and issuing R2,000 grants to eligible South African business owners to clean and rebuild, replenish stock, purchase critical supplies and equipment or fund short term wage gaps. Donate to the project or apply for a grant here.
Homeless home project by make-good
Chefs with Compassion
Launched during the early days of the strict lockdown of 2020, the Chefs with Compassion movement sees chefs and restaurants joining forces with local NPOs to tackle hunger in the best way they know-how, by getting in the kitchen. The organisation rescues foodstuffs from the Joburg Fresh Produce Market that is about to be discarded and distributes this to kitchens for chefs to cook into healthy and nutritious meals. These meals are then distributed to the needy through a network of small organisations operating community soup kitchens in deprived neighbourhoods in Joburg. If you are a supplier, food corporation, or farmer who has produce that needs to be rescued, contact Chefs with Compassion about how to donate it. Those who can't cook can also still register and donate to support the initiative. Find out more here.
Community-supported agriculture with Straight from the Ground
Based at the REEA Foundation in Craighall overlooking Delta Park, Straight from the Ground is a community supported agriculture organisation that aims to help small and micro farmers by ensuring they have easy and reliable access to a sustained market. At the beginning of every season the organisation commits to buying particular varieties and supports the farmers throughout the year with seeds, seedlings and technical support. Consumers in their part can then order weekly fresh produce boxes online and collect them in Craighall, each one filled with fresh produce from the small local farmers.
Email email@example.com to donate a box for use at a local soup kitchen, and check out straightfromtheground.org if you would like to buy groceries for yourself through this service.
Help Maker’s Valley Partnership ensure food security in east Joburg
The Maker's Valley Partnership, centred at Victoria Yards and surrounds works with neighbouring communities in Betrams, Lorentzville, Bez Valley and Troyeville in eastern Joburg. An innovative NPO, they work directly with deprived communities to find sustainable community-led solutions for difficulties and hardships in the area. One of the many initiatives led by the partnership is a community Food Hub that was launched in 2020 in response to the increasing food insecurity caused by the pandemic. Donate to the Maker's Valley Partneship food security initiative here.
Give to the Gift of the Givers
Consider setting up Gift of the Givers on your MySchool card and whenever you swipe at any Engen, Builders, Bidvest Waltons and Woolworths store, as well as online retailer loot.co.za, a percentage of your sale will go directly back to Gift of the Givers. You can also donate through Shoprite’s Act For Change Fund at any Shoprite or Checkers till. Alternatively, make a donation directly online here through their website.
Help for the unemployed with Harambee Youth Employment AcceleratorThe Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator is a social enterprise that partners with civil society, government and the private sector to build solutions to actively challenge the global youth unemployment catastrophe. There are many different ways you can support Harambee's activities, from mentoring a young job seeker to helping unemployed youth improve their CVs and make them more impactful, thereby giving them a fighting chance to get a first interview. Find out more about how you can support Harambee here.
Support vulnerable children from Alex with Rays of Hope
To give you some idea of exactly how far your donations go, the Rays of Hope website lists the direct impact of every donation. For example R250 buys a #WarmUpAlex hamper that includes a blanket and flu medications while R500 buys a food hamper for the Gogos of Hope programme. You can also make in-kind donations of good quality used clothing, chess boards and musical instruments for the schools programme or laptops for the IT Lab. Find out about the many different ways you can support Rays of Hope here.