During the #CoronaVirus and COVID-19 pandemic, forgood and our network of corporate employee volunteering programmes can be a powerful platform for understanding the realtime needs of the NPO sector in South Africa. We have a Volunteering in the time of #CoronaVirus campaign up – which we update every day. There you’ll find all the ways you can assist NPOs during this difficult time.
This is a series of posts (a VoxPop, if you will) to understand the immediate reaction to the pandemic. Use this to identify ways to help and structure tactical CSI / CSR responses to organisations, beneficiaries and communities in need.
Our question to forgood’s 400+ NPOs:
Are you doing anything differently now? What will change with the “State of Disaster” announced by the President?
Abraham Kriel Childcare: We have certainly been thrown upside down with the virus. We have quite a few events / functions that we have cancelled. NOTE: This NPO is not currently active on forgood.
Africa Food For Thought: We have postponed all of our Easter deliveries as the schools and preschools are now closed in the week we had planned to deliver. We will re-schedule in April once we know more about what things will look like. We have also postponed our photography course for our OVC children. Our schools and aftercares are all closing today or tomorrow. This means that feeding will be suspended for these programmes and we will be taking the veggies we receive for them to our overflow partners. Our primary partner during this time will be Ebenezer House, where they are caring for the aged who will be especially vulnerable at this time. They will benefit most from additional vitamins and nutrients in fresh veggies. Our preschools only learned that they also need to close yesterday afternoon. They are the programme where we provide the largest portion of a child’s daily nutrition, so it will have a HUGE impact on these kids, especially since it is so short notice. We are working with our funders and others in the industry to see if there is a way that we can get some food to these kids during this time, without putting anyone at risk. Our families are also going to struggle at this time. The unexpected closure means that they need to have more food in the household at short notice. We are running a fundraiser to increase the food we can provide for the month – we will be doing extra maize, lentils and canned meat, as well as double hygiene packs (household cleaners, hand soap, etc.) to help them stay healthy. Many of our families are looked after by elderly or immune compromised grandparents, so it is critical that they can be as strong and healthy as possible.
Angels Baby Sanctuary: We have implemented a no visitors policy, to protect both our babies and the staff. All fundraising events have been cancelled and we will be looking for funds during this quiet time.
APD Nelson Mandela Bay: We have integrated able-bodied workers with disabled workers and have created a unique working environment within our sewing department. We are striving to look after the disabled community and our outreach programmes will be maintained on a one-on-one basis, although this will cost us more in fuel, etc. NOTE: This NPO is not currently active on forgood.
Baby Hope House: What will change with the “State of Disaster” announced by the President? It is going to be difficult as we rely heavily on the community for support. Our regular local volunteers will still help but a few have opted to stay away, and overseas volunteers are not coming.
Bless-a-Baby: We will not have face to face contact with moms and babies in the hospitals. Most hospitals are closed to visitors anyway. So we will deliver the bags to the hospitals and the staff will come out to fetch them.
Botshabelo: We will be adding hand sanitiser and notices at our donation drop off and second hand shop (which is still open at this stage, but we will continue reassessing).
CityHope Disaster Relief: Our starting goal is to support 100,000 families with an average of four individuals per household. Additional care packages will be given to larger families. CityHope will partner with various organisations, churches and community leaders across neighbouring informal communities to support us with the distribution of relief aid into their communities. Relief aid will be 2 provided to entire communities and will not discriminate between the sick or the healthy. The families will include members of a variety of ages, from children to the elderly. Both genders will be supported equally. The majority of the beneficiaries will be Black South Africans, living on minimum wage with a limited probability of affording the items provided in the care package. CityHope aims to spread vital information into our informal settlements to ensure that South African citizens are educated on the threats, symptoms and treatments of the Covid 19 Virus. We also aim to provide some of the necessary aid items to support these citizens in protecting themselves and others against contracting the virus. Once the relief aid has been sourced and delivered to our premises, CityHope will coordinate volunteer teams of up to 50 individuals to support with the packing and sorting of relief aid into individual care packages. The care packages will consist of numerous sanitation products, educational material as well as a fair amount of sustainable food options. We will create a rolling roster of volunteer teams so that packing can take place in a non-stop cycle during daylight hours. Volunteer response teams will be coordinated to support with the loading and distribution of relief into the neighbouring communities. CityHope will also partner with additional strategic alliances to distribute care packages as speedily as possible to those that are most in need. NOTE: This NPO is not currently active on forgood.
Community Women Action: We are limiting our class sizes and making sanitizers available on the premises outside our training rooms. Also recommending that sick personnel and beneficiaries stay at home and get tested before returning to training.
DAKTARI Bush School & Wildlife Orphanage: No more environmental education. Some of our European volunteers already left to return to their home country. Tomorrow we are taking the ones who wish to stay to the corona test. Some of our long term volunteers are going to try to extend their visas for until necessary.
Epic Foundation: We have cancelled our self-defence classes for April and May. Looking at doing a Zoom training session for Charities4change for end April. Also looking at online shopping of items for our comfort packs. Problem here is Dischem etc. does not allow bulk purchases for online shopping – do you have a Dischem contact for us who can help us with bulk orders?
Epilepsy SA – Free State & North West Branch: Residents have been confined to the centre. We have limited visitors and have created restricted areas where visitors may not go. We have stopped outreach programmes such as our TB and HIV screening projects so that staff are not exposed to increase risk.
Fisantekraal Centre for Development: We are adhering to the rules set out by President Ramaphosa and then implementing certain prevention measures as mentioned above.
Gateway Health Institute: We have cancelled/postponed all face to face events, meetings and training sessions. We decided to do a mobile phone awareness and education campaign around Covid-19 to educate those people that do not have access to internet/data about the pandemic, how to prevent the spread of the virus, danger signs, help lines available etc. It is important we promote hygiene, social distancing and other measures to flatten the curve of the pandemic.
Gerald Fitzpatrick House and Nursing Home: All visitors and staff are required to have their temperature taken by our medical staff at the security checkpoint (with a thermal thermometer). Only persons with a green reading are allowed onto the premises. We’ve cancelled all activities and shopping trips to minimize our residents contact with people outside of the Home.
Great GirlsTrust: If schools remain closed, our programs will not take place.
Heartlands Baby Sanctuary: Yes, we have had to stop tours of our facilities, whilst still needing to attract people to our shops and coffee shop. All health precautions are in place. And seriously having to think of different ways to attract donations. Feeling very, very stressed as these are little lives that depend on us for a second chance.
i4118 Foundation NPC: i4118 has always promoted healthy living and cleanliness and have been promoting this long before this crisis. We will, however, stay vigilant and will be adding measures to all our camps and activities, like making sure that no child or mentor with a fever will be allowed to participate (we will be taking temperatures before they can get on transport), we will also be making additional hand sanitizers are readily available ensuring more stringent measures to wash hands, etc.
Kagcisham WOMEN Development Center: Usually the program focusses on interpersonal skills, this time we will focus more on healthcare, safety measures, community and self-care.
Kids Haven: We are limiting meetings and have cancelled events. Staff with compromised health are invited to discuss their concerns and options for working. Our priority is safeguarding the children living at Kids Haven.
Kwanliziyonye Resource Care Centre: Yes, we are doing more home visit to the whole community, we work extra hours to cover more households.
MABANDL EAFRIKA: We have sent employees and volunteers home until the date mentioned in the circular to resume services.
Maitland Cottage Home Society: Yes, we are doing things differently. Every person who enters the building must hand sanitise. The number of visitors per patient has been limited. Everybody should wash their hands after contact with a patient or their environment. Surface areas are regularly disinfected. Social distancing is encouraged. No volunteers are allowed. Our golf day event has been postponed.
Makabongwe PreSchool: Our Grade R excursion was cancelled today and we will put excursions for next term on hold depending on what is advised once schools return.
Phakamani Young Minds Academy: Yes, some of the meetings that we had planned to attend have been cancelled and we engaging in Zoom and Skype meetings. Again, we also trying to reduce contact / face to face conversations with most partners because we value safety with all people that we work with.
Pikkewyntjies / Penguinkids Preschool: Volunteers who come to give art classes in the afternoon and PT and Volkspele will probably not come – it’s up to them.
Project Playground Trust: Project Playground has taken several steps and has a plan of action, dependant on and for the support of other local organisations. Prior to the virus in arriving in South Africa, participants and parents were engaged in conversations and educational lectures about myths and facts and how to keep safe including establishing the habit of washing hands and using sanitizer regularly.
Rare Diseases South Africa: All meetings (as far as possible) to be undertaken telephonically, via Microsoft teams or Zoom. All media interviews to be arranged telephonically. Alternating staff presence in the office by 50%, with Work from Home model being implemented for alternates.
Rata Social Services NPC: Several activities have been cancelled or minimized, such as home visits, projects and holiday programmes.
Retina South Africa, a patient-driven action group: We are self-isolating as we are a non-essential service.
STAND: We have to postpone a launch event involving minister of DSD and 2 Mayors – we have issued comms to this effect. We have had to cancel larger group support sessions due to the compromised immune systems of the drug addicted communities we work with. We are having a strategy session to determine ways to continue providing support to our beneficiaries.
TEARS Animal Rescue: TEARS has implemented a Crisis Preparedness Plan that includes stringent social distancing and hygiene protocols across the organisation to limit human-to-human contact. We will keep our doors open (although opening times may be adjusted) and continue to feed and care for approximately 250 TEARS rescue cats, kittens, puppies and dogs, all awaiting their forever homes. For the foreseeable future, the TEARS shelter kennels and cattery will only open for viewings and adoptions by appointment. The public is urged to contact TEARS to make an appointment. TEARS has implemented a Crisis Preparedness Plan that includes stringent social distancing and hygiene protocols across the organisation to limit human-to-human contact. We will keep our doors open (although opening times may be adjusted) and continue to feed and care for approximately 250 TEARS rescue cats, kittens, puppies and dogs, all awaiting their forever homes. For the foreseeable future, the TEARS shelter kennels and cattery will only open for viewings and adoptions by appointment. “It’s a perfect time for families to adopt while they are at home over the next 4 weeks, a great time for bonding! Fostering is another awesome way to ease the burden on animal shelters right now. It’s likely that we’ll see a rise in unwanted and abandoned pets during this crisis”.
The Domino Foundation: As such, as of Tuesday 17 March 2020, the following additional measures have been put in place to ensure the safety and good health of all our stakeholders. We have separated our response into 3 categories, pertaining to the impact on each stakeholder respectively, namely: 1. Beneficiaries, 2. Partners: Donors & Volunteers, 3. Staff and Members.
The LifeMatters Foundation: The LifeMatters Foundation Programmes work at schools so we are subject to school holidays and closure periods. We will not have contact with beneficiaries during this period.
The Teddy Bear Clinic for Abused Children: We are promoting cleanliness and basic protective measures. We have also reduced group size for Court Preparation and Group therapy.
The Character Company: The Character Company has always promoted healthy living and cleanliness so we have been doing that long before it became popular. Our focus is to stay vigilant and add measures to our camps like making sure that no child with a fever will be allowed on camp (we are actually taking temperatures before they can get on camp transport), ensuring more stringent measures to wash hands, etc.
The Wot-If? Trust: We are not allowing children on to our premises and encouraging participants to practice social distancing. We have hand sanitisers at all entrances and sterilise surfaces regularly. We are also encouraging participants to work in shifts so that the centre doesn’t get too crowded at any time.
Ya Bana Village for the Children: We usually try to take our children on outings and have visitors during the school holidays, but this will not happen now.