Covid-19 crisis brings communities together

Members of the Red Cross Childrens Hospital Emergency Disaster Relief Marcellin Nayituriki and Akhona Right, loading groceries in their vehicle.

The Covid-19 pandemic has brought the Newlands and Philippi communities closer together.

Since the beginning of lockdown, the Newlands Community Action Network (CAN) has worked on various projects with the Philippi Can to help the most vulnerable in the community.

Newlands Can volunteer Jill Thorne said the two groups had come together to protect fellow South Africans made vulnerable by the Covid-19 lockdown.

“Collaboration is so much more than the cooperation, it’s a deep, collective intention to work together with a common purpose towards common goals.”

Newlands Can helped to raise R32 000 for a toiletry-bag drive that collected hand sanitisers, toilet paper, soap, dishwashing liquid and sanitary pads.

They donated electricity to vulnerable homes and made data available so Philippi Can project co-ordinators could do their community work.

They placed supermarket trolleys at the Woolworths at the Engen garage in Newlands to collect food.

They used the Philippi Horticultural Area (PHA) Campaign’s website to raise money for food parcels and support to get them packed.

According to Ms Thorne, about R185 000, raised with support from the Newlands
community, provided for 700 food parcels that made some 20 000 meals since lockdown started.

Mercy Dube, from Philippi Can, said: “We learnt to trust each other, and it is the strongest foundation for any relationship, network, organisation.”

Suzanna Coleman, from the PHA Campaign, said the Newlands Can had worked well with them.

“There was no pressure, so stress in collaboration was minimised.”

Ms Thorne said PHA volunteers had helped pack food parcels with Newlands Can in a warehouse in Wetton..

Members of the Red Cross Children’s Hospital Emergency Disaster Relief helped transport the groceries.

Ms Thorne said they wanted to keep supporting the Philippi Can and were looking for ways to make the partnership sustainable.

Email Jill Thorne on jill@via-ability.com for more information.