67 ways to help this Mandela Day: Paying the Way Forward by giving blankets to families in need
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With Nelson Mandela International Day around the corner, Kuils River women’s rights activist Latifah Jacobs is hoping to keep the vulnerable warm with a winter blanket drive.
The initiative, called Paying the Way Forward, has so far received donations of about 300 blankets and a number of knitted beanies and scarves.
The items will go to families in informal settlements, including Sophiatown near Kuilsriver, that have been affected by the recent floods.
“The aim is to spend the 67 minutes and even more distributing about 1000 blankets and winter clothing items to the affected areas such as Sophiatown where hundreds of people face many daily challenges.
“I can just imagine how cold a wet house with no electricity is, if we are freezing in our well built homes
“We will also focus on the vulnerable, which is disabled persons, the elderly, and some homeless people who are in need of these items. Other areas that will benefit from this are Kalkfontein and WestBank,” she said.
Jacobs, who is also a food co-ordinator for non-profit organisation, 1000Women1Voice, is among many locals who are responding to the Covid-19 social crisis.
She has opened her home and turned the lounge into a soup kitchen.
About 300 blankets, along with knitted beanies and scarves, have been donated to the Paying the Way Forward initiative, and will be distributed to needy families.
“I decided to take the risk and use my living room as a kitchen hub because, with the pandemic, it is not only poverty-stricken families that are suffering but also people who could afford their basic needs before.
“A family which had two
people who had sources of income now has one due to job losses.
“Last week, we managed to buy electricity for 72 homes. There are also ten feeding stations we support that feed up to 5440 meals per day. When the president announced that social grant money will be increased some donors stopped supporting thinking maybe the number of people will decrease but this was not the case, we still saw more people coming.
“We found out some children walk barefooted for about 30 minutes to one of the feeding points, raining or not. They have one pair of shoes.
“Although organisations like Community Chest, Breadline Africa and NGO Philisa Abafazi Bethu have assisted, we still need more support,” said Jacobs.
To donate, Jacobs can be contacted at 071 589 3409.
* Find more organisations and worthy causes to support on Mandela Day: https://www.iol.co.za/trends/mandeladay