Food parcels for the needy

Councillor Monde Nqulwana helping seniors to get their parcels.

Free food parcels were handed out to needy families in Ward 89 on Monday April 6.

The generous gesture by the Community Action Network (CAN), ward councillor Monde Nqulwana and the Early Learning Resource Unit (ELRU) comes at a time when most communities are struck by poverty and hopelessness.

In the spirit of ubuntu, CAN has been distributing the food parcels to needy residents of Khayelitsha, guided by a list of residents identified by the councillor.

Mr Nqulwana thanked CAN and Elru for keeping the less privileged in mind as the country struggles to contain the coronavirus. He said it was important for companies and non-governmental organisations to heed the national call to help the country get through this difficult period.

“On behalf of this ward, I say thank you to the donors. We have to extend a word of gratitude for their contribution here today and the days to come – because I believe they are going to come again,” he said.

“This period is a test to everyone as it is an unprecedented time where such things like the coronavirus attacks indiscriminately.”

The declaration of the lockdown, he added, had resulted in people not being able to go about their daily lives, and had severely impacted the livelihoods of those who survive by doing piecemeal jobs.

Mr Nqulwana said Ward 89 comprised mostly informal settlements with an average population of 25 000, 80% of whom live in informal housing – and well below the poverty line.

“We call on other NGOs with strength to mobilise resources and provide for these communities. A call is also made to businesses who thrive through these poor communities to donate whatever is necessary during this trying period such as food stuff, hand washing soaps, masks, gloves and so on,” he said.

He added that the donation would enable them to provide a meal for five days to more than 330 families drawn from BM SEction, RR, PJS, QQ, and France informal settlements to P, Q and R formal settlements.

The scores of people who braved the rain were provided food and hygiene items.

According to Elru co-ordinator, Unathi Madubedube, it was just the start, and CAN was busy fundraising for more parcels.

“Today we are here to draw a list but we thought we cannot just come without leaving something. We are still coming back for more and better things.

“But we are happy that people got something. I saw some came pushing trolleys but I think they were given the wrong information. But mark my word, the best is yet to come,” she said.

Beneficiary Ndumiso Luthando heaped praise on the donors.

He said the food would make a huge difference to him and others in the informal settlements of Ward 89. “Uncuntsu akafani no shici (a half loaf of bread is better than nothing),” he said.