Vuyisile, Sifiso, and their daughter, Lihle, live in Mbonisweni, a township in South Africa. On a typical day, pre-COVID, you would find it bustling with activity. Walking down the main road, you would see people visiting their neighbors, minibus taxis filled with passengers who were going to work or to shop in town, kids gathering for a game of soccer at the sports field, and business owners selling fresh produce, snacks, and dry goods at their tuck shops and roadside stalls. But since the nationwide lockdown that began at the end of March, movement has significantly decreased and life has looked different for families like Vuyisile’s.
“The lockdown has really hurt us a lot, especially my husband Sifiso,” shared Vuyisile, when asked how it had impacted her family. “He lost his job, had to stay home, and was not paid for two months. For the two months that Sifiso was not working, it was hard for us to get food.”
The lockdown presented other setbacks as well. Vuyisile and Sifiso have been working hard to finish an addition on their home. “If there hadn’t been a lockdown, we would have finished it by now. Because every month when Sifiso got paid, we were able to budget for materials. So that has affected the building project.”
Being out of work has been a widespread challenge for many in the community. And yet, even in the face of these struggles, there’s been a spirit of generosity. “I have neighbors from Mozambique who were not getting any help,” Vuyisile went on to share. “They would come over, and we would give them some food.”
As our after school programs had to close during this time and many parents were without work, a tangible need has been nutrition. The funds dedicated to feeding programs as well as COVID-19 relief donations have been put toward purchasing food parcels. These have been delivered to the families of children who attend our weekly programs.
Although a food parcel may not “fix all of the problems” that have arisen due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s a tangible way to ensure that children are continuing to receive nutrition and that their families are supported in this time. “The Ten Thousand Homes’ food parcels really helped, as we were trying to make ends meet,” Vuyisile shared. “With the food parcel plus what we had already saved, we were able to make it through until the next paycheck.”
Thank you so much for your donations toward our feeding programs as well as our COVID-19 relief fund. You are providing tangible support and encouragement to families who have deeply felt the impact of the lockdown. Vuyisile’s eyes smiled above her face mask, “We were able to continue with life.”