4th Covid-19 Food Parcel Distribution in the Waterberg

Since Covid-19 shut down the tourist industry in March, The Waterberg Trust has partnered with St John’s Church at 24 Rivers to make up food parcels for those needing help.

The project is overseen by nurse Grace Ismail who is sponsored by TWT. She has continued to meet with volunteers from the church, once a month, to purchase food from Chequers supermarket in Vaalwater, where it can be collected by the recipients.

By following this up with home visits, Grace ensures that funds raised through The Waterberg Trust’s Covid-19 Appeal, and kind donations made locally, go to the families who are struggling, including a teenage mum with twins and those unemployed due to Lockdown.

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The report for August states:

New beneficiaries were identified and assessed to confirm their social status.

Previous beneficiaries were visited. We found some had been able to return to work, others received social relief grants, and some got retrenchment packages.

FOOD PARCEL DONATIONS:

Shambala Game Reserve requested a list of beneficiaries that needed food parcels.  The list was given to social workers for re-assessment. Beneficiaries with no identification book or passport could not be assisted due to lack documentation. From the list of 20 beneficiaries, social workers distributed to 8 families. We assisted the rest.

CHALLENGES:

  • Social Development does not give food parcels to people without identification as they need to register beneficiaries in their system.
  • Some families abuse social grant money intended for buying food, using it for gambling and alcohol purchases.
  • Child-headed households without parents lack proper care and social support. 
  • Dysfunctional families who neglect their children and provide little to no support.
  • Loss of employment and lack of income to support a family.
  • Gender-based violence continues in many households leading to physical injury and damage to property.
  • School children seen on the streets of the township at inappropriate times. Some abuse alcohol and drugs instead of studying at home.
  • Some went back to work, but did not notify us as they still want to receive food parcels. This is why reassessment of each family is done regularly.

PROGRESS:

Stake holders have been helpful in supporting the community with food, clothing and shelter for the less privileged. These are the Social Development Services, Private organizations (eg Shambala Game Reserve), individuals and religious or faith based groups from the community. This is encouraging as we work together in the community. 

Schools have reopened and many learners have access to food provided by the School’s feeding scheme programme to ensure pupils get a meal and are able to concentrate in class.

FUTURE PLANS:

We will continue to distribute food parcels from the supermarket as it is convenient and a central point for beneficiaries.

We will continue liaising with stakeholders to avoid duplication of food parcel distribution.

We will continue to visit homes and families as required.