The "Stay Home" policies adopted by many governments means that families are coming under additional pressure now, balancing ongoing work responsibilities, with caring for and home-schooling children; sheltering loved ones with underlying health conditions whilst still trying to provide food and other essentials to the household and sadly, coping with bereavement and grief without the support of friends and extended family.

These issues are now familiar across the world and they are felt ever more keenly in communities who were already struggling to keep above the poverty line.  Families whose life was already defined by living hand to mouth and who do not have the safety net of a welfare system.  This is why support for the vulnerable families, those who lost their household income because the only wage earner cannot now travel to another district to work, those in inadequate housing with no water supply who cannot practice either social distancing or frequent handwashing and those for whom home is not a safe place; is needed now, more than ever.

Our partners at 1000 Hills Community Helpers have continued to respond to the Coronavirus crisis in their proactive, energetic way.  Adapting their clinic services to maintain vital healthcare whilst ramping up their already far reaching feeding scheme.  They told us:

With the ongoing lockdown, many of our local Community and our neighbouring Communities have fallen on desperately hard times. When a person is hungry, ‘Hanger’ sets in… meaning a ‘hungry’ man is an ‘angry’ man. Our mood suddenly takes a scary turn when those hunger pains strike.

To guard against the inevitable damage to families and the community 1000 Hills Community Helpers have been delivering food parcels across the valley and here you can see Gogo's (Granny's) queuing, in their facemasks to collect food parcels for their families.

Gogo's Collecting Food Parcels

Gogo collecting food parcel

There are so many Gogo-headed and child-headed families in this community and organisations like 1000 Hills Community Helpers provide a vital lifeline for these families. The 15th May 2020 is day 50 for lockdown for South Africa, they appear to be containing the virus, however the impact on food supply is devastating.  South Africa is on Level 4 lockdown which  makes provision for limited economic activity and the easing of some movement, although with schools still not open and transport limited many people from rural communities are unable to resume their jobs. A curfew from 20:00 to 05:00 has been imposed and it is be mandatory to wear a cloth face mask when outside the home.  GAGA UK continues to support 1000 Hills Community Helpers and in addition to our regular donation for the clinic we are keen to extend our support for the feeding scheme.   On this International Day of the Family, if you can, please send a little hope to a family in KwaZulu Natal, every little helps please donate here.

Thank you!