Firstly, I want to say thank you to every single person that's donated to people in need in Khayelitsha. South Africa has implemented one of the strictest lock downs in the world in order to protect the most vulnerable. However, the lockdown has hit already vulnerable communities even harder, leaving thousands of families without any income, and consequently, without any food. While large NGOs and the government have allocated funds to address these needs, desperation grows.
As a group of volunteers in the city of Cape Town and in Khayelitsha, we had the joy of raising both funds and awareness, and sharing in this challenging time together. It's easy to give when you have a lot, but asking for money in this strange time does not always feel right or easy, knowing many are nervous about their future. However, my daily correspondence with those volunteers on the ground in Khayelitsha - witnessing their joys, frustrations, relief, anger, and anxieties - has been a reminder that if you have a roof over your head, food in your cupboard, and even a semblance of a savings account, you are privileged, and have much to be grateful for. Seeing South Africans rallying around each other, crossing the invisible lines that separate us, have given me hope through this time.
As of last night we've raised over R65,000 to go towards the most immediate food needs. Aside from the 5 digit figure it's been amazing to see over 100 donors get involved. More than 20~ of these came from donors overseas from 10 different countries.
These funds resulted in us feeding over 160 families (over 1200 people) for the next month as well as going towards the daily soup kitchen operations that are addressing feeding hundreds of children.
Procuring the Parcels
Choosing which families to deliver food to was no easy task. The Khayelitsha CAN worked with local community leaders in the informal settlement sections of Islands, Qandu Qandu, BM Section and Azania to prioritise families based on helping the disabled, elderly and families with zero income.
This week the Khayelitsha CAN lined up a fleet of taxis with trailors and procured parcels for over 100 families. Linda Mafuna an NGO leader in Site B Ward 90 also set out to purchase and deliver food for over 50 families. Below are some sites, sounds and videos from these volunteer groups that are literally giving their lives to help their communities. Once again thank you for getting involved.
Rather than waiting for the entire R80k target the Khayelitsha CAN and Linda Mafuna at Site B decided to purchase slightly smaller parcels and setup ongoing soup kitchens to feed children. They will be rotating between the various informal settlements to address needs of hunger amongst children.Site B, Ward 90.
This zero overheads project has been hard work for everyone involved. The reality is that the needs are not suddenly going to stop. We're still aiming to raise a minumum of an additional R15k to roll out more food parcels and fund the more pervassive community soup feedings. Linda Mafuna has requested help securing pots and pans to scale up her operation. Thank you for every rand donated, I can assure you that it is getting to those who are in desperate need of it.
Sights, sounds and Video from the Ground
Site B, Ward 90.
Khayelitsha CAN - Islands, Qandu Qandu, BM Section, Azania
Big thanks to Zacharia Mashele for the incredible photos and videos.