Dear Crisis Helper,

As the national shutdown continues into a 5th week, Living Hope is experiencing a time of astonishing miracles! The response of financial support from our local donors in our South African community has been incredible! We can’t say thank you enough to the generosity of friends like you. We feel like we are part of the Biblical miracle of feeding the 5000 with a few loaves and fishes! In fact,we have been able to feed over 6735 families with food for about 10 days.  This translates into feeding about 27,000 people for ten days which roughly equates to 270,000 meals!!!

While our other programmes such as the Farm, HIV testing, Home Based Care and Health Care Centre continue to run as normal, we have taken on door to door medication delivery around the South Peninsula of Cape Town (over 100 Chronic Meds delivered daily to people’s doors) as well as front line COVID-19 screening in Masiphumelele together with Department of Health doctors doing the actual testing.

We have also been incredibly busy with the feeding programme in Masiphumelele. While we support feeding efforts in other communities, we have taken a forefront leadership role in the Masi feeding scheme and have redeployed other staff like our Life Skill Educators into helping in this monumental task.

What we know is that between 35,000 – 45,000 people live in Masi and that unemployment in that community was as high as 43% prior to COVID-19. So we already knew that up to 17,000 people needed assistance before the economic impact of COVID-19 started to be felt! 

As you saw in the video, we are so thankful to have been able to mobilise and provide 2600 food parcels in the last two weeks, but we know that this is simply the tip of the proverbial iceberg, as our database of people requesting assistance has grown to over 9480, meaning that the ongoing and unmet needs are massive.

We have undertaken a new strategy in our food provision and have moved over to an SMS based voucher system, by which those who have been verified can apply for a voucher and use that voucher at a local grocery store to purchase their own food and hygiene items including soap, baby formula and baby nappies. Vouchers are more empowering than receiving a food package, and allow for less hands on involvement, meaning nothing to be sterilized, no drivers needed to deliver etc. We were able to provide 3405 vouchers just on Friday! The massive database we have built of families will also allow us to support these families in the future if it is needed. 

The strength of Living Hope has always been our ability as an organization to adapt and respond to the changing needs and circumstances of our communities and COVID-19 is no different. Living Hope has been flexible in how we respond, while remaining committed to Bringing Hope and Breaking the Despair of poverty and disease during this crisis. 

We know that there are at least 2,745 families still on our list that have asked for help. Each food parcel/voucher costs R350 which means we will need  2,745 x R350 = R960,750.  How far can you go in helping us to meet this goal? 

Please don’t delay in responding to this urgent need. To donate please go to our website by clicking the blue button below or see our banking details for direct deposit. 

With gratitude in advance for your generous response, 

John V Thomas
Executive Director
Living Hope