As South Africa was plunged into what we all thought was a 5 week lockdown, we found ourselves inundated with requests for food support from Pastors around the city as many of their communities, and livelihood was suddenly stopped. People and informal traders who live from hand to mouth by selling cheap goods, food, fresh fruit and veg etc. on a daily basis were suddenly without any customers and therefore no money and food.
Project Gateway was granted 4 travel permits which enabled 4 of our Senior Executive Board Member Pastors to take food parcels to their communities. The food parcels were distributed to the Greater Edendale Valley, Mfakathini in Vulendhlela, Willowfountien and Imbali areas. Many families in the city centre were also left hungry and we were able to assist a few of them. “
“ For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in” Matthew 25 v 35 applied to us at this trying time.
As we transitioned into Level 4 and the restrictions were loosened slightly, we hoped that those who have been mostly affected would be able to continue with their informal trading, which had been their only source of generating an income. This was unfortunately not the case and so our emergency feeding continued. We distributed in excess of more than £5,000 worth of food and food vouchers thanks to the amazing help from local people, local businesses and people in the UK through our UK Trust.
South Africa is now on Level 3 (June 2020) Lockdown which does give some allowance for movement of people. We have noticed that some of the informal traders are back trading and the current pressure on us as an organization has eased slightly. Now we face two daunting questions:
- Going forward how we can assist the informal traders to make long term financial plans so that they are able to sustain themselves during difficult times? This is the development challenge that most NGO’s are grappling with at this time.
- How do we ensure that the supply of fresh produce is available to enhance the food given to families?
We work with 16 Early Childhood Development centers and we have decided that we will encourage them to enhance their community vegetable gardens if they already have them. If they do not we will encourage, train and support them to start the vegetable gardens near the ECD’s. However ECD’s are not open as yet but there is talk that they may be able to open during July.
Going forward we are thinking of the MANDELA DAY, 18 July, 2020. The signage needs to be upgraded around the premises and are looking for businesses to help get this sponsored. Due to the lockdown and the fact that staff, possibly not able to come to Project Gateway on Mandela Day we would be so grateful if you could perhaps sponsor the cost towards the signage. We also need to revamp and paint the “outside prison walls”. We have an artist willing to assist us but we need to buy the paint and preferably have part of her time sponsored by a business. A general clean-up and landscaping donation would be fantastic to freshen this Historic Landmark as the original walls of the Old Prison that is now looking very tired!!!
Anyone able to assist please contact Ursuhla Govender on 083 611 7733 or Di Milford 082 784 3729, for a breakdown of the cost and how you or your business can get involved.
CARE | EEDUCATE |EMPOWER
PASTOR JABU MNCULWANE - CEO - PROJECT GATEWAY