During the #CoronaVirus and COVID-19 pandemic, forgood and our network of corporate employee volunteering programmes can be a powerful platform for understanding the realtime needs of the NPO sector in South Africa. We have a Volunteering in the time of #CoronaVirus campaign up – which we update every day. There you’ll find all the ways you can assist NPOs during this difficult time.
This is a series of posts (a VoxPop, if you will) to understand the immediate reaction to the pandemic. Use this to identify ways to help and structure tactical CSI / CSR responses to organisations, beneficiaries and communities in need.
Our question to forgood’s 400+ NPOs:
What are your immediate plans to help beneficiaries during the next few months?
Angels Baby Sanctuary: We have implemented a no visitors policy, to protect both our babies and the staff.
APD Nelson Mandela Bay: We need to: Source funding to acquire the sanitizers, masks, gloves and cleaning materials required to keep our building and workers (63) safe. Source funding to purchase materials to be able to manufacture garments to meet our orders – we need R450 000 to clear our outstanding supplier debts. Minimize short-time amongst our workers by acquiring funding to purchase materials. Source funding to update our IT systems and server and then be able to maximise our marketing via social media. We need R180 000 for a new server. Start a learnership project to assist the community with job creation and at the same time bring young workers into our Sewing Dept. NOTE: This NPO is not currently active on forgood.
Bless-a-Baby: Our overall concern is for our beneficiaries who are going to need provision in these uncertain times. Our concern is also for volunteers. We want them to feel safe and that we are being responsible. Volunteers are welcome to choose whether they come or stay home. We understand that the elderly will choose to stay home as well as the women with children as it is school holidays.
Aryan Benevolent Home: Our priority is to stop the spread of the Coronavirus as the ABH cares for 700 vulnerable people. We need face masks, hand sanitisers, disinfectant spray bottles and gloves for our charity. We hope that companies will drop off their donations at 80 Arena Park Drive, Chatsworth.
Baby Hope House: The only thing we can do is boost our little ones’ immune systems and make sure that anyone attending to them is “safe”.
Botshabelo: Our beneficiary work will be programme specific as follows: Babies home, continues to run with our staff caring for orphaned / abandoned children, no short-term volunteers permitted in and no donor-tours at this point. Our Education programmes are largely closed. First, our preschool is shut from tomorrow until 14 April per the national guidelines. Our teacher training programmes are semi-closed. We cannot monitor/evaluate at preschools, as they are closed. However, we can be in touch with our trainees. We are currently planning remote support (via WhatsApp, sending them data bundles and doing calls on how they can plan into the next term, etc.) for ‘ENRICHMENT’ so we use this ‘forced vacation’ as more of an opportunity to reflect and plan well into a strong rest of the year.
CityHope Disaster Relief: CityHope has compiled a project overview on how we aim to bring hope and support to our fellow South African during this trying time. CityHope Disaster Relief is hugely concerned about our local impoverished South Africans who are unaware of the risks and concerns related to the virus. We are also concerned that the informal sector will be unable to go into quarantine for any length of time, since the majority live hand to mouth and will not be able to stockpile consumables. NOTE: This NPO is not currently active on forgood.
Community Women Action: Our Plans to help beneficiaries include having sanitizers around the premises for hands, to wipe down equipment more regularly, and limit class sizes in our training courses.
DAKTARI Bush School & Wildlife Orphanage: The schools are closed so we will stop from Friday to have the children for a week of environmental education. This is not a vital need at the moment. We are following the precautions required by our government and the ones of European countries as much as we can.
Epic Foundation: We just received 500 packed bags from the Saheti Debs so am using these to distribute to centres in immediate need. Our stock to pack more bags have been depleted, so need donations/funding to purchase more items.
Epilepsy SA – Free State & North West Branch: We are focusing on hygiene including infection control within the centre and a great focus on hand washing. We also have limited access to the centre.
Fisantekraal Centre for Development: We are continuing business as per usual for the next week to finish off our job readiness group. We will then resume our next class after Easter. We have implemented various interventions (i.e. communication about prevention, hand sanitiser in all classroom, cleaning equipment continuously after use).
Gerald Fitzpatrick House and Nursing Home: We had education sessions with residents and staff last week. We’ve stocked up on hand sanitisers, gloves and face masks.
Great GirlsTrust: We just cancelled an alumni event to keep them safe.
Heartlands Baby Sanctuary: Immediate plans – panic! We need to increase awareness and find new ways in which to attract funding. Thinking radio interviews, just don’t want it to be a beg or blaming the virus. We’re thinking a much-needed, more light-hearted social media challenge.
i4118 Foundation NPC: We continue to monitor the situation but our policy is that the impact of absent positive role models in the lives of children is much worse than the impact of this pandemic so we are not suspending our program. As school holidays approach schools closing most of our groups are affected as they would be during normal school holidays. As we have partnered with the Character Company we will still be going ahead, with our participation in their school holiday camps at this point as they are small gatherings.
Kagcisham WOMEN Development Center: Kagcisham will be hosting the holiday program, where we plan to educate our beneficiaries, supply hygiene product to make sure they are safe and they take necessary safety measures in their home and community. 2nd part our beneficiaries depend on our feeding scheme to fill their stomach, so we will be offering meals breakfast and lunch as from Monday looking out to the symptoms and also working very closely with the local health care near us
Kids Haven: Safeguarding of children in care and not allowing home visits for children who may have been able to go on home visits usually. No face to face volunteering is possible. Volunteers are encouraged to do ‘home volunteering’ – making macaroni and cheese meals, biscuits, cheese muffins, clothing and other collections. These can be delivered to the Bryanston Donation Centre at 300 Main Road in Bryanston which does not accommodate any of the children. Our charity shop in the Centre is closed but the charity shop off site is open at Tait House, 130 Woburn Avenue, Benoni. The sit down soup kitchen is changed to a take away soup kitchen.
Kwanliziyonye Resource Care Centre: Our plan is to continue doing door to door health education and we wish to distribute the health materials e.g. masks, jik to clean water from the river.
Legae Community Childcare Centre: Since we are involved in childcare – nursery school and Aftercare, we have had to close our Centre. We are attempting to collect donations in order to supply food parcels to families who rely on us to supply their children with 2 meals per day. At this stage we have no other plans, as we do not have the facilities to do online homework help, for example. We will remain closed until after Easter and play it by ear from thereon.
Maitland Cottage Home Society: Our immediate plans to help beneficiaries in the next few months is to keep our beneficiaries safe and provide the healthcare that they need.
Makabongwe PreSchool: Makabongwe, as a preschool, is closing on Friday for an extended holiday as per the president’s directive. We had offered a holiday club for our parents and will continue with this as is it only for the few children who have no alternatives. This is just for the first week and we will monitor the national situation and instructions and not exceed 20 children. All will be using the preventative measures of washing hands and regular cleaning of surfaces and sanitising. These measures have already been implemented and, if and when we re-open the school, will continue.
Neil’s Comfort Fund: We are carrying on as usual to feed and clothe the people. The people need us more now for food and clothes. We will stay strong and continue to do our work of donations. We are grateful of all donations received that we can pass on to the needy. NOTE: This NPO is not currently active on forgood.
Noah: Following regulations, we have sadly had to close our community centres in Khayelitsha and Woodstock to contain the spread. All of our members have received the necessary information and have been asked to share it with their families and communities and to stay at home.
Phakamani Young Minds Academy: As of now we have already put all programmes on halt but we will definitely be resuming all programmes for beneficiaries once the situation normalises. We also hope to integrate hygiene and health initiatives for our beneficiaries once the programmes start running again.
Pikkewyntjies / Penguinkids Preschool: We can’t possibly close the school because the children are far safer and healthier in our care than wandering around the village hungry and unsupervised – so the holiday programme will run as usual. There is always emphasis on washing hands after using the toilet and before meals but it will be emphasised again and the reasons explained again. We will call a meeting of the Moms … to tell them about the virus and about hand washing.
Project Playground Trust: Following the model of the South African government, Project Playground has closed operations with immediate effect. Because we work in the townships, we are highly concerned for the wellbeing of our staff, our participants and their families. We are aware of the consequences of the Coronavirus for individuals with pre-existing conditions, including HIV, TB and malnutrition and, therefore, the impact it is likely to have on vulnerable communities in South Africa. We are also aware that many families live in small and crowded spaces, with shared toilets and no way to self-quarantine. Additionally, many people in these communities cannot afford to miss work and feel they would rather take the risk of riding a crowded taxi to work than miss a pay check–therefore potentially bringing the virus back to their family at home.
Rata Social Services NPC: We work in an environment that is at high risk, due to the nature of our activities as Social Services professionals. Contact with people is inherent in our profession and we deal with the most vulnerable in our society. Continue to deliver services wherever possible, without putting our personnel in harm’s way as much as possible.
Retina South Africa, a patient-driven action group: We are available telephonically, with an emergency number for those who require help urgently.
Siyakholwa Support Care Centre: Our team will fight COVID-19 – there’s a high risk of infection in disadvantaged communities in South Africa.
STAND: We will continue to provide individual therapy sessions (one on one) and small counselling support groups – ensuring that we take strict sanitary precautions with masks and sanitiser etc.
TEARS Animal Rescue: We are taking measures to protect our staff, volunteers and customers from the risk of infection, as well as supporting vulnerable cats and dogs across the communities we serve. We are keeping a close eye on the status of the COVID-19 pandemic, and would like to reassure you that we will continue to do as much as we can to help animals in need and their owners through this crisis. We will also be educating children and pet owners in our communities on basic hygiene and the current facts on COVID-19.
The Character Company: We continue to monitor the situation but our policy is that the impact of absent fathers is much worse than the impact of the Corona Virus so we are not suspending our program. This is the last week of Mentorship sessions and with the schools closing most of our groups are affected as they would be during normal school holidays. Our holiday camps are still going ahead at this point as they are small gatherings.
The Domino Foundation: In preparation for the expected arrival of the COVID-19 virus, The Domino Foundation conducted Awareness and Education Training with our staff and implemented enhanced hygiene and cleanliness procedures throughout our organisation on Friday 6 March 2020. Through distribution packs of hand wash, hand sanitiser and antibacterial wipes, our team began implementing heightened cleaning and hygiene protocols within our office work space, vehicles, kitchens and the Baby Home. Following the address from our President on Sunday night 15 March 2020, and the declaration of a National Disaster, we met as a team to discuss the way forward to ensure the safety of our stakeholders.
The LifeMatters Foundation: The LifeMatters Foundation Programmes work at schools so we are subject to school holidays and closure periods. We will not have contact with beneficiaries during this period.
The Teddy Bear Clinic for Abused Children: We are continuing with provide services whilst taking precautions to protect our staff and clients.
The Wot-If? Trust: We foresee many challenges due to the Corona Virus and “state of disaster” policies. Our organisation primarily supports Diepsloot-based entrepreneurs and SMMEs with access to the internet, computers and other resources. The possibility of us closing our doors means that our participants will no longer be able to run their businesses, as most don’t have access to internet and electricity at home. For these survivalist entrepreneurs, the consequence is that they will not be able to provide for themselves and their families. As most also don’t have running water in their homes, regular hand washing and maintaining good hygiene is a challenge. We have given each of our participants a hand-wash kit that they can use without a tap and have shown them how they can make their own. We would like to make more of these kits to distribute in Diepsloot and have put out a call to the public to donate soap bars and empty bottles that we can use. We have put out a call to our donors as well as the public to donate data and any old devices so that our participants can work at home in the case that we need to close. We have already had to send participants home who were displaying flu symptoms and are trying to help them with data so they can continue to work at home. We are providing Nutriwell food packs to our most vulnerable participants and have asked our funders to assist with getting more. The public can also contribute to buying Nutriwell packs by contributing to our Given Gain campaign.
Ya Bana Village for the Children: Ya Bana is a child and youth care center with 58 children and 42 staff. We are waiting for instructions from the Department of Social Development about their new arrangements. For us, now that it is the school holidays, we would prefer our kids not to go out for home visits – we will hear what the Department decided. We are asking our staff to be very hygiene conscious, and have soap at all our washbasins for the staff to use. Sanitiser is very expensive, but we have in all our vehicles as we still need to pick up supplies and medicine. We also expect from our staff to not assemble with big groups of people outside of Ya Bana. Immediate plans: Self-isolation as far as possible, informing children and staff, focus on health – fruit and veg, hygiene, self-care.