Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic (March 24), more than 51 479 daily food parcels have been distributed to children from Shyiabazali informal settlement and 4 790 weekly food parcels have been given to families in the Umngeni area, but this is not the extent of our COVID-19 story!
The children we are assisting in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands in South Africa live in informal settlements that have no access to water, sanitation, electricity or any basic services. In addition, the majority of people in the community suffer from chronic illnesses, are unemployed and living in the direst forms of poverty.
The mission of Angels’ Care Centre has since 2002, been to provide for the optimal growth and development (mentally, physically and spiritually) of the children we serve in a safe and loving environment. We accomplish this through providing not only for the basic needs of the children we serve, but also their caregivers through access to health care and other human services as well as by providing excellent educational services. Since the start of the Coronavirus pandemic, the closing of schools and the National Lockdown, we have focused on ensuring all our children have access to balanced nutrition on a daily basis and their families are assisted through weekly food parcels. The accompanying distribution of educational materials ensures they are also cared for both physically and mentally at this time.
On our staff we have a full-time nursing sister, social worker, social auxiliary worker, community caregivers and other persons able to provide assistance. As such we have been providing the following holistic services to children during this COVID-19 crisis:
- Assistance with cases of child abuse
- General health care
- Provision of hygiene products
- Winter warmth campaign (blankets/clothing/firewood)
- Access to water and sanitation
- Access to learning materials
- Emergency overnight care facility
- Home based care
- Assisting, educating and providing food and services to 5 disabled children
Daily Food Parcels to Children
51 479 daily food parcels given to children
Our nutritional programme runs Monday to Saturday. The food parcels sustain a child for a full day and include sandwiches, fruit, yogurt and hard-boiled eggs (when possible). Cost per parcel R10.07. We have been extremely lucky to have also partnered with the feeding the future campaign, a partnership between Carolyn, Jackie Cameron and Wonderbag founder Sarah Collins. This partnership has meant that our children have also received three homecooked healthy hot meals (cooked by Jackie Cameron’s amazing students).
Weekly Family Food Parcels
Since 23 of March 2020, 4790 weekly food parcels have been distributed to families in the Umngeni Municipality. This number has increased over time due to the severity of food shortages and levels of unemployment. While the schools were closed, we used the food parcels as a way of distributing work booklets.
Our food parcels contain the following items: 5kg Mealie Meal, 500grams Samp and Beans, 20 tea bags, 2 tins pilchards, 2 tins baked beans, 1 tin Jam, 750ml cooking oil, 500grams sugar, 1 butternut, mixed vegetables, eggs, porridge, bread, sunlight green bar soap, 2 rolls toilet paper and when possible meat. Cost per parcel +-R200.
Additionally, family food vouchers were distributed to families of children attending Thembelihle School.
Total number of family food parcels distributed:
4 790: Angels Care Centre (and Thembelihle School)
23 950: Number of people reached (average family of 5)
At the start of the pandemic 35 – 40 children, mostly under the age of 5, were identified in the settlement/during the feeding scheme and transported to the Centre daily for additional medical care, fortified porridge, clothing and emotional counselling and assistance.
Child weights are taken daily to identify malnourished children. More recently temperatures of all children attending this programme are taken daily to quickly identify possible infections. The Rape and Abuse Crisis Centre has assisted 21 woman and children through the White Door Centre, 58 have received counselling (46 children and 12 adults) of those 44 were Gender Based Violence survivors. 400 children have received medical treatment and over 550 people have benefitted from our educational campaigns.
Ring worm; Sores/abscess; Skin infections; Bone fractures/dog bite; Chicken pox; Disability; Diarhoea; Flu; Burns; Eye care; Physical abuse; Domestic violence; Emotional trauma; Child neglect; Emotional support (caregivers); Children: Clothing; Children: Hunger
15 young mothers with newborn babies visit the nursing sister weekly for assistance with clothing, nutritional advice and medical monitoring of child and maternal health.
Ahead of the impending winter and extreme cold experienced by our children and their families living in shacks made of plastic, timber and metal sheeting, we have distributed 650 blankets, 500 beanies, 250 gumboots and lots of warm clothing.
Our community outreach drive is on-going and will include clothing, hot meals, food parcels, firewood to assist with warmth and cooking, household items and assist many children with bathing and comfort packs. Our community caregivers have continued with home based care, providing us with valuable information on what is needed most in the community.
Thank you to our incredible partners who made this all possible!
CUSP – Nashville USA, RCL Brentwood United Methodist Church – Nashville USA and Freundeskreis Des Katholischenforums – Germany
- Fairfield Dairy
- Do More Foundation
- Truda Foods
- Howick Meat Centre
- Southern Loadstar Foundation
- Howick PnP
- Greendale Spar
- Jackie Cameron
- Esjay Sportswear
- Kelly Jay Jewelry
- Suzanne Elizabeth Jewellery
- Disrupt Shop
- Jannie and George
- Feeding the future
- Sarah Richards Sculpture
- Brokoop Insurance
- Tiger brands
- Many individual donors