COVID-19 Special Edition: Uthando Provides Food for the Soul
The extreme need of the Western Cape’s impoverished communities exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic has thrown a harsh spotlight on the concerning socio-economic issues facing South Africa. Where there is darkness, however, there is also light. There has been an outpouring of compassion and support from our urban communities toward those least able to bear this unspeakable hardship. Members of our communities heeding the call to be an ‘everyday hero’ to the vulnerable. Many of these helpless citizens will never meet their champions face to face, just as our donors don’t always get to meet those they support.
As I posted on Facebook on June 3rd, under lockdown, I have not been able to visit any other areas of Cape Town except the township of Hanover Park. Here, I attended an emotional memorial earlier this month. Yet another innocent teenage boy murdered in a drive-by shooting in gang violence while standing around a fire. Geographically speaking, Hanover Park is only ten minutes from where I live in Harfield Village but, seriously, the two communities might as well be on different planets. The struggle for liberation in South Africa continues, and we must work harder than ever to fight injustice, deep inequality and poverty. We no longer have the luxury of time. Kensington Place and Black Sheep Restaurant Team, Thank you for providing the food you made with such loving hands for those who attended the memorial service. Everyone, especially the children relished them after the ceremony.
For more examples of Ubuntu feeding our vulnerable people, here is a round-up of how Uthando volunteers have helped their communities in the lockdown. A massive thank you to all our generous donors, benefactors and friends who have had a hand in making this all possible. As the cold hand of winter starts to take hold, your generosity is heartwarming, especially for those benefiting from your support. A warm, nutritious meal means so much to so many.
Ludwe Qamata of the Ghetto Gardeners project is championing the cause of delivering packs of fresh organic vegetables delivered weekly to the seniors of Sinovuyo Old Age Group. Uthando sponsored all manure, compost, seedlings, stipends for Ludwe, the micro-farmer. We are growing fresh nutritional vegetables at our Sinovuyo Senior Old Group. From our 65 square meter plot size at our food garden, we have managed to produce a variety of fresh, nutritious vegetables during the pandemic period. Since the beginning of the pandemic, between April and May weekly, we managed to produce and distribute plus twenty-five packs of mixed vegetables to the seniors. This programme has helped to contribute towards food security and also health benefits that in turn boosts the immune of mostly the vulnerable seniors. During the pandemic period, we have distributed fresh produce door to door, to all our senior members and the community at large of which 27 households with three to seven people per house. With this entire project, we have encouraged the community to grow fresh nutritional vegetables at their family.
During the coronavirus pandemic we 7500 sandwiches over four weeks, 860 food parcels, 565 families sustained reaching 2200 people
Thanks to Chris Weir and his team, Kensington Place has delivered more than 4674 meals to the vulnerable township community of Hanover Park.
Ikhaya “Home” Garden (Khayelitsha)
30 food parcels per week distributed to 390 families with about 5-7 people per household, mostly targeting seniors, people with disabilities and the unemployed households. 100 hand sanitizers supplied in the community of Site C, Khayelitsha.
We are running a 4-day feeding scheme serving between 150 to 230 people per day. 35 choir members each receiving a weekly stipend of R300 and monthly food parcels. 460 food parcels provided and distributed to 120 households with an average of three to six people per household in Site B, Harare, Makhaza in Khayelitsha and Bosasa informal settlement in Mfuleni.
We are running a 3-day feeding scheme, with 400 people served, 800 food parcels distributed to 300 households supporting three to eight people per household. One hundred sixty-eight families provided with electricity and 580 bags of oranges supplied in areas of Vosho, Zwezwe and Kanini informal settlements in Khayelitsha.
Our three-day feeding scheme is serving meals to over 150 people per day. We have distributed over 400 food parcels to 380 households supporting four to ten people per home. Thirty fire victims assisted with supplies, clothing and food. Supported and provided a family with food parcels and hygiene supplies as one member of the family was in self-isolation having contracted the virus in the greater Site B area of Khayelitsha.
Our three-day feeding scheme provided meals to 250 people per serving and thus far amounting to 7750 people fed during the pandemic. 200 food boxes supplied to 200 households with between three to six people per home. 170 masks and 400 bars of soap handed out in Town Two, Khayelitsha.
The Abalimi team has distributed 11 000 seedlings and 1000 masks. We reach, on average, 25 households per manure run. We have reached out to more than 500 micro farmers.
Supported 250 families with food for one month through banking e-wallet system established by the school.
Through Uthando generation donations have allowed Greater Commission United to provided over 600 food parcels (to feed four people per household) amongst four communities impacting 2400 people.
478 food hampers to most at-risk families particular focus on seniors and single mothers. 7500 sandwiches over four week period distributed.
Little Cjays Educare Centre (Bluedowns)
We feed 50 children on Mondays, Tuesdays 55 children and also donate 50 loafs bread to the community’s needy. Wednesdays we feed 100 kids in two locations and Sundays twice a month we feed 35 plus children to ensure they receive at least some form of healthy nutrition.
Uthando funds have provided 200 food parcels to women who are survivors of rape in our program and also provided 20,000 hot meals to female-headed households thus far. Uthando funding is going directly to survivors of rape, and gender-based violence and their children. Uthando has provided operational costs funding to the Women’s Safe House for two months.
To date, we’ve harvested 41kg of veg and made 320 bread, rolls and naan bread that has gone to two feeding schemes that used to provide a collective total of around 1,500 meals.
Uthando (Love) South Africa responded to the Call of the People for assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Big Issue vendors are recipients of Uthando’s solidarity through their support of the Big Issue/Vendor Lockdown Income Relief Fund. This fund provides 120 vendors with R100 per week to keep them going as the vendors’ on-street customers were following stay-at-home orders.
Mandisi Dr Disi Sindo, Founder, Khayelitsha Art School & Rehabilitation Centre (KASI RC) says “KASI RC converted its Shack Theatre into a soup kitchen which started to feed young people, artists, elderly taking medication and those living with disability from the March 27th 2020 (the first day of the lockdown). KASI RC has already fed over 5000 people/kids, handed over 800 food parcels to artists, youth and door to door drop-offs, over 570 Bunches of Oranges dropped to elders aged 50 + to boost their immune system, many masks and delivered more than 2000 sanitizers to the community of Khayelitsha ever since the inception of the lockdown. KASI RC is also continually supporting other soup kitchens around the area and one in Johannesburg. To us, sharing is caring. We have currently done few interviews with eNCA, Beautiful NewsSA, LEAD SA, South African Guild of Actors, Spiel and international tv channels. This would not have been possible if it was not for the LOVE we received from uThandoSA, James Fernie and Xolani Maseko. The organization has helped us in many different ways to keep the kitchen vibrant, foody, and caring for the youth. Our self-employed theatre space is proud to have been partnering with UTHANDOSA and receiving help. UTHANDOSA has helped many initiatives in the townships to find relief during this time of the pandemic and has helped us to continue doing the work we have always been doing in these respective communities regardless of the hard-hitting coronavirus.”
To support Uthando’s Love In Action campaign, please join hands with us (virtually) to donate toward our GivenGain Love In Action campaign. Click here to donate and champion our cause, wherever you are. Through a powerful combination of love and action, Uthando works with you to make South Africa, and the world, a better place.