16 May 2020 COVID19 Has Us All Coming Together: Update On Our #APART_TOGETHER Campaign
“One of the sayings in our country is Ubuntu-the essence of being human. Ubuntu speaks particularly about the fact that you can’t exist as a human being in isolation. It speaks about our interconnectedness. You can’t be human all by yourself, and when you have this quality-Ubuntu-you are known for generosity. We think of ourselves far too frequently as just individuals, seperated from one another, whereas you are connected and what you do affects the whole world. When you do well, it spreads out; it is the whole of humanity.”
Our team in South Africa has helped over 1,500 people, serving 300 households since the lockdown was first announced in South Africa. With support and donations we were able to buy food and essential goods for families for five weeks. Our objective was to buy bulk items so that we can help as many families as we can, changing the households we support each week. As the lockdown continues we are struggling to afford buying the same amount of needed supplies. Regardless, our team has been working very hard each week to continue providing support, harvesting vegetables from our community gardens and partner schools and collecting donations from various organizations and stores.
The lockdown has created a great need for food assistance for families living in Mpumalanga due to a loss of jobs and school closures. Schools are a huge support system for communities in rural South Africa, providing most children with the only meal they receive that day. Families rely on the food provided at school and many struggling families get food sent home with their children as our partner schools have extra food from their vegetable gardens and fruit trees. So many families are in need and as we travel to different homes, we have found families telling us about their neighbors who are in need as well. Communities have been coming together, scrounging around for anything to share with their neighbors and supporting each other in any way they can. We can honestly say we are apart together. Ubuntu has been a philosophy that we use to shape our work everyday and we are seeing more of the ubuntu ideology come to life during these difficult times.
Recent donations have allowed us to start buying more goods to include in our food parcels. We will be working with the community to ensure that those who are the most vulnerable are receiving the food and essentials they are currently struggling to obtain. We want to thank everyone who has made this project possible.