Massive rise in demand for Christmas parties to assist vulnerable Cape children
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Cape Town - Organisations that this time of the year usually hold Christmas parties filled with goodies and gifts for children say they fear they will see a massive increase in children turning up because of unemployment and lay-offs due to the Covid-19 pandemic
Organisations such as the Bonteheuwel Santa Shoebox Project, Kraaifontein Hotspot Library, Ladles of Love, Harare CAN said demand for their Christmas parties had risen sharply.
Kuils River parent Noxolo Prins said due to the pandemic, she had lost her job and was struggling to make ends meet.
Prins, who is a mother of three, said she had had to make tough choices in order to survive the year but was still upset at having to almost cancel Christmas for her children.
“As parents this year, we are having to choose between putting food on the table and following past Christmas traditions like buying our children clothes and gifts.
“I am preparing to speak to my children about the situation soon and while I would want them to understand my decisions, they are just kids at the end of the day. It’s really hard,” she said.
Bonteheuwel Santa Shoebox Project leader Sandra Jantjies said that due to parents losing their jobs and some taking salary cuts, the number of children she was hosting a Christmas party for had almost doubled.
Jantjies, who has been hosting the Santa Shoebox Project for more than eight years, said she had identified almost 600 children in need but due to donor fatigue and to adhere to Covid-19 safety regulations, she could only host a party for 300 children.
“This year has been hard on everyone and while I would like to cater for all the children in need, I can’t meet the demand.
“The project does not have the funds and donations are slowly trickling in while time is running out. At this point I plan to make do with whatever I can get to fill the shoeboxes and pots of food,” said Jantjies.
In Kraaifontein, local Hotspot Library founder Terence Crowster said that due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the demand for his community engagement project had grown.
Crowster, who is looking forward to hosting at least three Christmas parties so as to adhere to Covid-19 regulations, said more than 1 000 children had been identified to be in need in the community.