Hlanganisa Institute for Development in Southern Africa is inviting all donors, corporates, philanthropists and all change-makers to pledge their support and donate to the COVID-19 response emergency fund aimed at assisting communities in rural areas and informal settlements to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Hlanganisa has set up the emergency fund which will serve as a conduit for organisations, individuals and corporates that wish to contribute to the response at community level through the effort of community-based organisations (CBOS). CBOs have far better reach into these communities and yet the resources at the disposal are often inadequate. This emergency grant facility will enable them to undertake activities, informed by their contexts, and aimed at preventing and mitigating the impact of the pandemic on communities.
The state President, Cyril Ramaphosa has declared a 21-day national lockdown to flatten the curve of infection. However, this presents a different set of challenges for people in poorer communities. There is anxiety and uncertainty about the aftermath of the lockdown. What measures can ordinary South African citizens take to curb the pandemic? What happens in the event that the lockdown is extended and South Africans with no savings or UIF lose their jobs? Would the government be able to provide food parcels to millions of South Africans? As it stands, the national lockdown has not just exposed that there is a great need for education on COVID-19 at rural and informal settlements but also that crisis has elevated gender-based violence as women and children are locked in with their abusers. Hlanganisa has already started disbursing small grants for community based organisations to secure personal protective equipment, food parcels, translate information into different languages, provide support to survivors of gender-based violence among other responses.
COVID-19 continues to negatively impact vulnerable communities around South Africa. It is without doubt that it will be the poorest communities that will be hit the hardest by COVID-19. It is these communities that Hlanganisa is committed to supporting.