This weekend our beautiful Peninsula fought one of the biggest storms we have seen in years. Wind, rain, hail storms and the first snowfall for winter. Unfortunately the ones who lost, were also the ones who have already lost.
Almost 3000 souls who lived in shacks, without power or running water, lost whatever little possessions they had. Their homes blown away by gale force winds, the rest of it drenched and washed away by torrential rains. The ones who were homeless before the storms hit, I shudder to think what they had to go through. I’m sitting here in my lounge and I can’t help but feel guilty. Like thousands of other people we heard warnings about the upcoming storms. What did I do? Did I offer to work as a volunteer? Did I take food, clothes or blankets to shelters? No, I did nothing. I heard about the storms and made sure my shopping was done, so we could spend the weekend indoors. They had no choice but to sit and wait. They couldn’t move away to prevent harm or damage. Their only option was to reinforce where possible and then sit and wait.
Disaster management had their hands full in rounding families up, feeding and clothing them. My heart goes out to these people and I pray for them tonight.
The events of the weekend reminded me of two organizations, which I have been meaning to write about.
You can not teach a hungry child. It is said that every day 3 out of 4 children in the Western Cape Schooling system goes to school hungry. It is a sad fact of the way things are in South Africa with unemployment currently at 1 in 4 adults who have no form of income.
StreetSmart and the Peninsula School Feeding Scheme are non-profit organizations, who focuses on helping these vulnerable children.
StreetSmart has been operating since June 2005. All funds collected go to selected and approved organizations that run programs for the normalization of street and vulnerable children. restaurants in seven cities have opted in to help collect funds for the group. This means that helping out is as simple as eating at one of the restaurants (by adding anything from R5 upwards to your bill) or by visiting StreetSmart.org.za. You can also contact them via +27 21 418 0621 or email them on StreetSmart@eqweb.co.za
The Peninsula School Feeding Association provides breakfast and lunch to around 43 000 children around the Cape Peninsula. The also receive fresh fruit 3 times a week. Various organizations and individuals have held private fund raisers, but the demand for meals increases as the economy worsens. R10 feed a child for a full school week. Beter yet, “adopt” a child for a year at a rate of R395. That is less than most of us would spend one a dinner date! For donations or further information visit http://www.psfa.org.za. You can also contact them via +27 21 447 6020 or email them on firstname.lastname@example.org.