Durban NGO doing its best to help GBV victims during lockdown
Durban - NGO Sinika Uthando is helping to bring restoration and healing to the less fortunate communities as well as abuse victims during the Covid-19 lockdown.
Established in 2003, the Durban-based organisation specialises in life skills, learnerships, various training interventions, empowerment programs and offers counselling and refuge for abuse victims.
The Sinika Uthando Food Bank is also currently providing food hampers, masks and sanitisers to less fortunate families and senior citizens in poor communities in and around Durban during the lockdown.
Sinika Uthando founder, Jennifer Chetty said their offices have been open during the lockdown to deal with serious matters of abuse and domestic violence, as statistics of gender-based violence have surged since the start of lockdown, and to assist communities on their database with food hampers.
The organisation has not gone public with their noble efforts during lockdown, as they believe that helping the poor and destitute should always be a private and sacred act as their philosophy is "clean hands, pure heart".
“We have been serving the elderly and poor in the communities of Chatsworth, Welbedacht, Mobeni and surrounding areas, wherever there is a request. With social distancing measures, hampers are delivered directly to the doors of households.
"This is certainly a stressful time for us all, but most especially for the elderly, poor and vulnerable as they need food and money to meet their monthly expenses. Many are dealing with the loss of income or the uncertainty with regard to the security of their jobs, but the greater risk to us all now, especially the poor, the destitute and our old and vulnerable is this deadly, debilitating virus.
This is why we must help to save lives by staying at home during this lockdown and adhere to government’s regulations,” said Chetty.
“Food banks across the NGO sector are completely exhausted and many organisations find themselves having to further purchase, distribute and continue to try to meet the needs that arise daily. It is understandable that everyone is feeling the loss of income and are uncertain about the days ahead; but we are requesting people who want to help and are purchasing food (non-perishable) to replenish not just the Sinika Uthando food bank but food banks, food security agents and NGOs closest to your homes and in your communities.
"It is in this way more of our poor and vulnerable can be fed. Feel free to connect with our offices and or other NGOs that are permitted to collect and deliver. Remember if you can’t feed 100 then feed one,” she added.
Since the lockdown, many NGOs are battling to keep their heads above water to survive. There has been no specific call for funding that is available to help NGOs like various other social relief measures, however many NGOs are still working tirelessly as an integral part of the essential services in serving the communities.
Many NGOs may not survive a longer lockdown as funding from various SMMEs and programs have all been put on hold as we all fight this invisible army together.
“We all know that this pandemic is unprecedented in scale and in need. Almost every household, community, organisation, sector and our nation is reeling from its impacts on health, the economy and society. Our world has fundamentally changed. It is our hope that there be an establishment of a Covid-19 funding model that would assist NGOs in South Africa so that we can continue to support households and communities that are most vulnerable,” said Chetty.
Chetty said frontline workers, who have shown immense strength and tenacity, have inspired organisations like Sinika Uthando to keep on going despite the many challenges, and she believes that we should all not lose hope and faith and that we will build again after all this is over.
If you would like to be part of the Sinika Uthando journey in helping the less fortunate communities, email: [email protected] or call 0314012744.
Here’s how you can make a donation:
BANK ACCOUNT DETAILS
Account Name: Sinika Uthando
Bank: Standard Bank
Acc Number: 250654504
Branch Code: 051001
Reference: Sinika Uthando Food Bank