A Southfield yoga teacher is on a mission to help the poor and homeless in Lansdowne.
Pamela Tosh, 48, is the founder of IndiPam Spiritual Legacy Foundation, a non-profit organisation, and she is doing outreach work among the homeless at Lansdowne train station and residents of the Flamingo Heights shanty town in the area.
Apart from being a qualified yoga instructor, Ms Tosh, who grew up in Rondebosch East, is also trained in home-based care and first aid. She offers counselling, youth mentoring and first aid to anyone who needs it, and she provides over-the-counter medications that the needy can’t afford to buy for themselves from a pharmacy.
She also provides dog food to the many dogs in Flamingo Heights
“My main motivation for starting this non-profit is to help the children around Lansdowne station and Flamingo Heights but also to come up with a solution to help the communities in a sustainable way.”
Her outreach in the area started at the outbreak of the pandemic in 2020 when she saw that people there lacked clean water and adequate ablution facilities.
She raised money and also collected clothes, water, food, bedding and mattresses to help those in need.
Ms Tosh has also spent about seven years, on and off, helping the poor in Rishikesh, India.
Ms Tosh relies on donors for support and she works with various organisations and shelters in the area. “I would also take any shoes, clothing, dog food and miscellaneous items that can help the community.”
On Thursday January 18, she visited Flamingo Heights and the squatter camp near Lansdowne train station to deliver medication and dog food to those in need.
Eleanor Fabe, a 45-year-old factory worker who has been staying in Flamingo Heights for three years, praised Ms Tosh for her work in the community.
“Pam does a lot of good work in the area. She brought myself and my child clothing.”
At Lansdowne station, Monique Jacobs, 32, said: “Pam does a great job in the community; she tries very hard, especially to help the children that do not go to school. You could even come to her with a complaint and she will try to help you.”
Ms Jacobs previously worked as a cleaner but has been living in a makeshift shelter at the station for over a year.
Natasha Paulse, 62, has been living on the streets for 16 years. She recycles plastic and glass bottles as well as aluminium and light steel to support herself.
“Pam is very helpful towards the community; she gave a lot of dry foods during the hard lockdown and gave us toiletries,” said Ms Paulse.
Ms Tosh hopes to expand the work she does and is appealing for help to transport her donations as she relies on her small and somewhat unreliable Tata Indica. She would also like to find a venue where she can do her counselling sessions.
“I want to visit schools and give presentations to perhaps get ideas from school pupils on how to solve the problem and also visit the schools where children from Flamingo Heights go to educate them further on the challenges they face.”
For more information, WhatsApp Ms Tosh at 083 475 2281or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or look for IndiPam on Facebook and Instagram.