Ahead of Mandela Day which is marked on July 18 every year, Gift of the Givers non-profit organisation, in partnership with Nyanga Police, and the CESVI Foundation opened their hearts to the victims of gender-based violence and the less fortunate people of Philippi.
On Friday July 17, 100 people queued at the “House of Smiles” Khanyisa Centre in Philippi, a home for victims of abuse, with some wearing masks and observing physical distancing protocols. After speeches, Gift of the Givers staff and volunteers took the food parcels to where the beneficiaries were seated.
Gift of the Givers co-ordinator, Ali Sablay said the need for assistance was dire and that the organisation had been inspired to do good, by Madiba’s love for people.
“He was an inspiration to the nation. We are doing this because we are proud of women. We are saying to those who have been victims of abuse, there is nothing to be ashamed of. We are proud of them and we will continue to denounce the abuse of women,” said Mr Sablay.
The gesture was praised by CESVI Foundation’s Luvuyo Zahela.
“It is a big honour for us. This is encouraging because Mandela was a great humanitarian. This is encouraging us to work more. This is a nation-building exercise,” he said.
Leticia Qonongo, 84, said it was an honour to receive a food parcel and that when the name Mandela was mentioned, she became excited because Mandela was a true leader.
“He died for us before his actual death. That is why I am so excited to receive this parcel. But it will be selfish of me if I cannot thank the Gift of the Givers, CESVI, police and all those who are part of this good gesture. I am truly humbled. I will have food that I did not have,” she said.
Another recipient, Olivia Makinana said the donation would make life easier for some.
“There are people who are still waiting for the Sassa food parcels that were promised during the coronavirus pandemic period.
“That food has not come. This will make a huge difference in our lives,” she said.
The police and Nyanga Community Policing Forum have vowed to fight gender-based violence. They have also called on the community to protect women and children.