The Coronavirus pandemic is being acutely felt in Alexandra Township as a result of school closures, food shortages and loss of jobs, all of which come on top of already excruciating levels of unemployment, over-crowding and general levels of hardship. With school closed, it means that children no longer get the balanced meals provided by the government. At the best of times life for the population of Alex is challenging – it has now become desperate.
As a result of the crisis, the normal activities of the projects that Gumboots Foundation supports have now largely been curtailed. This, however, has not prevented our resourceful and energetic project leaders from redirecting their efforts to helping alleviate the suffering of the vulnerable in Alex.
Here’s how they’ve been rising to these new challenges:
Peggy Chauke, (Principal of Leratong Pre-school), is using donated funds to buy food and distributing it to the desperately hungry people who knock at her door daily. She is also handing out hundreds of donated masks and continuing to support the families of Leratong, both emotionally and practically, as well as with food parcels.
Ingrid Moloi, (Ratang Bana Project Leader), and her team of extra volunteers are doing their best to help thousands of desperately hungry people – at great risk to their own personal safety.
- In the last two months, they have cooked and delivered 16,000 meals.
- With donated money, they are buying essentials for food parcels and then delivering these to the most needy families.
- Hundreds of donated masks have been handed out.
- Ingrid continues to apply to government programmes for financial assistance
Beauty Letsoela, (Sigiya Sonke Project Leader), is working with Ingrid Moloi, (from Ratang Bana), where she receives about 220 cooked meals a week which she hands out to the children from the dance group.
- Through a neighbour to neighbour initiative, they have received donated food and other necessities from the suburbs of Johannesburg, which Beauty then distributes to her needy neighbours
- She also is handing out hundreds of donated masks
- Beauty and Jack buy food with donated money from generous donors and create food parcels to hand out to several families a week
- They continue to support the dance group emotionally at this difficult and challenging time.
The June 2020 edition of the Gumboots Foundation newsletter, THE BEAT, will provide more information around the current situation.