Since early this morning, our local radio station Cape Talk has been calling for donations to feed orphaned children in South Africa:
“The Radiothon began at 6am and hoped to raise enough to feed 100 orphans for the year. An hour later the target had been reached. Four hours after the start, the station’s listeners had donated enough to support 567 children, over R1 million in 4 hours. We continue until 6pm tonight. Thank you to all those that have already donated. There are many more than 567 orphans in need of assistance so if you can spare R150 per month, please call 021 446 4737.” (link)
The money raised will be going to an organisation known as Ikamva Labantu, which supports vulnerable and orphaned children in the poorer communities, to make sure that they receive the care, food, shelter, financial support and education they so desperately need.
Although I’ve only listened to part of the show, on my way to and from work, it’s been a humbling and heartwarming experience to listen to the interviews with children and young adults who’ve benefited from the help given to them by Ikamva Labantu and by school feeding schemes in general, as well as interviews with some of the foster mothers and social workers who participate in the various programmes. They spoke about young children being so hungry when they attend school, that they just cannot learn or participate properly. And many don’t have anything for breakfast and haven’t even brought a piece of fruit or a sandwich with them for the day. It’s impossible not to feel saddened by that.
Above all, though, it’s been truly uplifting to hear Capetonians from all walks of life responding to the call for donations. Big companies have called in to pledge large amounts, and to challenge others to contribute the same; there’s even been pensioners, who are living exclusively from a pitiful state pension, who have called in with their pledges; and hundreds of people have pledged various amounts inbetween.
If you’re keen to help, you can even go directly to the website of Ikamva Labantu and make a direct donation to them. They run different programmes (e.g. Adopt a Grandparent, Adopt a Food Garden, Train a Blind Person, etc.), so you can choose the one you wish to support. It’s amazing how much they can do with a couple of hundred rands.
Definitely feel-good stuff. Makes one feel proud to be a Capetonian!