The unrest in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng province made international news a few weeks ago. Not many could have missed the devastation that followed in its steps and tragically affected many people’s lives directly. But, in the middle of despair, countless helpers came together to assist the ones in immediate need.
Give a Child a Family (GCF) joined the Heal Our Land initiative when the opportunity came. Together with countless partners, including national and international funders and contributors, funds were quickly collected for the Emergency Relief Fund for KwaZulu-Natal. With the help of farmers, wholesalers and charities, to mention a few, truckloads of food have, and are still, secured and taken to distribution points in the province.
GCF, as one of the new partners, has been a location for distribution and thanks to local churches and non-governmental organisations, not only families on our network have been reached, but many others.
Mr and Mrs Ngesi, a retired couple with a great heart for the vulnerable, have (among others) been distributors on the ground. They are a part of the Christian Brethren Church situated in Madakane area, Murchison, close to Port Shepstone, which is connected to other local assemblies. Mr Ngesi, who is also an elder of the church, describes that most of the church members are unemployed, often elderly women being caregivers for their grandchildren or great-grandchildren, living on governmental grants only.
After loading the vehicle full of food parcels collected at the distribution point, they informed families earmarked for the food parcels to come to the local church. The couple tells how it immediately put smiles on their faces when the food was given to them. They were excited and one woman repeatedly thanked God, expressing how “God’s timing is never wrong.” The woman had in mind to write a letter to church asking for groceries when the phone call to go there came. Her cupboards were empty and she did not know what to cook for supper that day. Another mother had left in the day knowing that all food was finished and later came back to the smell of food cooking on the stove. She reported to Mr and Mrs Ngesi; “I was amazed they were cooking at home.”
The couple also delivered food parcels to the homes of people who could not collect themselves due to old age or illness. A bedridden senior citizen, 87 years of age, was speechless, as she could not believe the gift she had just received.
Mr and Mrs Ngesi estimate that the food parcels they were able to distribute reached 480 people. They state that they have given of their time out of love for others and would be more than happy to be involved again. Mr Ngesi expresses:
“Whoever used their hands to help, has met the needs of so many people”.
GCF believes in the GIFT THAT KEEPS ON GIVING and reaching one family at a time. These turbulent times has united the nation in spreading everlasting hope.
Written by: Anna-Karin Öhrnstedt