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Relief for Migrant Women in S.ABy Uyapo Majahana - @uyapomajax (Twitter)
18 July 2020
The Southern African Institute for Migration Affairs (SAWIMA) is commemorating the Mandela Month by distributing food parcels, baby wear and blankets to women migrants from SADC countries in Berea.
The organization’s director Nompilo Maphosa said this initiative comes after receiving desperate pleas from migrant women in and around Hillbrow, Yeoville and Berea whose incomes have been affected by the lockdown in South Africa and are finding it hard to buy basic commodities and to pay for their rentals and utilities.
“We have partnered with M & M Security and Jessica De Oliviera and Friends to assist single mothers with small children, pregnant women as well as women who are breastfeeding. The COVID-19 caught almost everyone off-guard, without savings. “So as a way of honoring the legendary social justice hero on his month, we decided to help women whose livelihoods have been disrupted since their jobs were in the informal sector of the economy,” she said.
On Nelson Mandela day, the organization distributed food packs donated by ePap Technology to 100 vulnerable women.
She said although they were doing their bit to assist the vulnerable women, a lot still needed to be done to so that women lived dignified lives in these difficult times.
“Some women tell us that sometimes their hygiene has to be compromised so that they can buy food. They say that materials like sanitary ware are sometimes sacrificed in favour of buying food stuffs,” she added.
The M & M Security operations manager Mr Bongani Mathe said it was an honor to work in partnership with an organization that has done a lot to empower women. He said his company was proud to partake in the 67 minutes to remember the works that were done by the icon of South Africa and the world over, Nelson Mandela.
“As a security company, we want to get involved with vulnerable people and try to assist them beyond criminal security services. We want to be involved in their food security as well.
“Therefore, we call upon other companies and individuals to embrace this noble initiative and share whatever they have because it will go a long way in helping our society cope with this pandemic.
“Further than this, we want to conscientise people about the reality of COVID-19 and encourage them to observe the necessary precautions outlined by the government to mitigate the spread of this virus,” Mr Mathe said.
Another key partner in this initiative, Jessica De Oliviera said she got involved after realizing that SAWIMA was doing a great work, acting with love and generosity for women and children who needed it the most during this time.
“I was feeling frustrated during the lockdown because I wanted to help people who were in need but didn't know quite exactly how to do so and be safe at the same time.
“Then I stumbled upon SAWIMA, an organisation doing terrific work so I thought I would try and get my friends and family and acquaintances involved through Facebook and see if we could help these heroes helping women and children in need,” she said.
She said she was happy with the outcome of the initiative so far.
“I didn't expect so much generosity to pour in during such a short time frame. I hope that many more people hear about this organisation and decide to get involved. Amazing things happen when we all work together! Even though we are apart, we are united. Even though we can't physically reach out to every one we want to, we can still come together and make a difference,” she said.
Every year, on 18 July the former President Nelson Mandela’s birthday is celebrated by dedicating 67 minutes to help those in need. The day was launched in 2009 and was inspired by Tata Madiba who called on future generations to change the world.
Nelson Mandela used his voice to call on world leaders to end the systemic causes of poverty, and often lent his name to global fundraising initiatives that supported organisations promoting children’s and women’s rights, youth empowerment, and access to education and health care.
In an impassioned speech in 2005, Mandela said poverty was not natural, but rather a man-made phenomenon that could be eradicated by actions of human beings.
In 2020, a year marred by the COVID-19 pandemic, the essence of the Mandela Day, to take action, inspire change and make everyday a Mandela Day is more significant and relevant than ever before.