In different ways people of good will have gone all out to extend a hand of charity to the needy of our society, especially during this time when COVID-19 has added another blow of poverty to many disadvantaged of our society.
Since the beginning of lockdown in South Africa, we have witnessed many charity works by different institutions, churches, faith based organisations and individual people, responding to the needs of the poor, mostly by distributing food parcels to them.
Some donors have been going extra mile, by not only catering for food parcels but also catering for other basic necessities.
On the 19th May 2020, one of the impoverished community in the North Western Province, Madidi Community, experienced a hand of charity from Good-Shepherd Learning Centre, which is run by Sisters of Good Shepherd. Some members of the community received food parcels which were organised by Sr Colleen Simpson, the director and the members of the founding pioneers of the centre. Among the distributed items, other than food parcels, were sanitary towels and clothes.
According to Sr Colleen the organised food parcels were meant to cover only 50 persons but hundreds of people joined on the queue for receiving food parcels. She said it was hard for her to return them empty handed because of knowing their poverty. The centre had to go extra-mile in making sure more people go back home with something in the hand. Sr Colleen has worked with the community of Madidi since 1990.
Despite the number of people who received parcels more people from the community kept on coming to join the queue. At the end many people had to be returned back home empty handed. Sr Colleen Simpson promised that more food parcels will be organised soon for people who were returned back home with nothing.
The day was graced by presence of representatives from Government Social Development Department from Madibeng Municipality, who also helped in the distribution of parcels. South African Polices Services (SAPS) were also present to make sure safety precautions against COVID-19 are adhered to by gathered people.
Ms Henrietta Poo, the Director of Social Development Department in the Madibeng Municipality said as the members of the department they appreciate very much the good work the Good Shepherd Centre has been doing to the impoverished people of Madidi.
Ms Poo added that the centre is the arm of the department in outreaching the people of Madidi and the surrounding areas. The gesture of distribution of food parcels means a lot to the people, especially during this time of COVID-19 misfortunes. When people have something to eat in the house they would stay home and help in curbing the spread of Coronavirus. She said since COVID-19 lockdown it is the first time that the outreach of such magnitude is organised for Madidi Community.
The Councillor of Madidi, Mr Malatse, was also present to make sure that everything goes well. He said more than 75% of the people of Madidi are relying on social grants for survival and it makes life in the area very hard. He added that many people who succeed in the area do not prefer to stay in the area. They go and live in other better places. They only come back to the community during special occasions. This leaves community Madidi with majority of poor people and children.
By Paul Tatu
For information contact Sr Colleen Simpson: +27 82 979 1606