Sinika Uthando (SU) is helping to bring restoration and healing to less fortunate communities as well as abuse victims during the Covid-19 lockdown. The local non-governmental organisation was established in 2003 with specialisation in life skills, learnerships, various training interventions and empowerment programmes, and offers counselling and refuge for abuse victims.
The founder of the organisation, Jennifer Chetty, stated that their offices have been open during the lockdown to deal with serious matters of abuse and domestic violence, as statistics of gender-based violence have surged since the start of the lockdown, and to assist communities on their database with food hampers. The SU Food Bank is currently providing food hampers, masks, and sanitisers to less fortunate families and senior citizens in poor communities in and around Durban during the lockdown.
Chetty said, ‘We have been serving the elderly and poor in the communities of Chatsworth, Welbedacht, Mobeni, and surrounding areas, wherever there is a request. With social distancing measures, hampers are delivered directly to the doors of households. This is certainly a stressful time for us all, but most especially for the elderly, poor, and vulnerable as they need food and money to meet their monthly expenses. Many are dealing with the loss of income or the uncertainty with regard to the security of their jobs, but the greater risk to us all now, especially the poor, the destitute and our old and vulnerable is this deadly, debilitating virus. This is why we must help to save lives by staying at home during this lockdown and adhere to the government’s regulations.
‘We all know that this pandemic is unprecedented in scale and in need. Almost every household, community, organisation, sector, and our nation is reeling from its impacts on health, the economy, and the society. Our world has fundamentally changed. It is our hope that there be an establishment of a Covid-19 funding model that would assist NGOs in South Africa so that we can continue to support households and communities that are most vulnerable’, she added.
The organisation has not gone public with their noble efforts during the lockdown, as they believe that helping the poor and destitute should always be a private and sacred act as their philosophy is ‘clean hands, pure heart’.
Photo source: Chris Eason