The violence and looting that has rocked SA, and most notably KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, over the past week has had devastating consequences for countless people, their families and their livelihoods.
Many shops have been forced to close, have had their stock stolen, premises damaged, or stand empty as panic buyers clear shelves leading to shortages of essentials in some parts of the country.
All is not lost, however. Inspiring images flooding social media show how communities are uniting to help one another clean up their neighbourhoods and get Mzansi back on its feet.
Numerous organisations — including the handful below — are also working tirelessly to help those affected by the crisis. Here’s how you can help them in the spirit of the Rainbow Nation and ubuntu:
Hope SA is a non-profit organisation that supports underdeveloped communities by providing healthcare, education and nourishment.
The organisation announced on Instagram that it will be helping with the food shortages in KwaZulu-Natal by chartering aircraft laden with supplies into the embattled province, as well as by road “as soon as it is safer”.
To make a donation, visit hopesa.org
Gift of the Givers
The Gift of the Givers Foundation is the largest disaster relief NGO in SA. The organisation announced on Facebook that it has drafted a “rescue plan” which it says will be announced at an appropriate time.
In the meantime, it is calling for financial donations which will be used to “help protect 'full' warehouses from being targeted by the last remnants of the [looting] element”.
To make a donation, visit giftofthegivers.org
This rapidly growing grassroots movement is helping to connect willing volunteers with those people, organisations and businesses in need of help via their Facebook group, Rebuild SA.
The admins have compiled Google documents that list affected businesses and how you can help them, as well as a form you can fill in should you wish to volunteer. Visit Rebuild SA on Facebook for more information.
African Muslims Agency (AMA)
Members of Joburg’s Somali community whose shops in the Mayfair and Fordsburg areas were looted have been left without income. To help, the AMA organised for ingredients to be provided and a restaurant made available so that community members could prepare meals for those in need.
Through their #EmpowerSA campaign, this non-profit organisation is also distributing essential goods ranging from basic food staples to sanitary pads to those in need in various areas of Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.
To make a donation, visit africamuslimsagency.co.za
Liv Village Durban
Through their villages around the country, LIV provides a safe haven for orphaned and vulnerable children.
Their Durban Village has been greatly affected by the unrest and needs food essentials; diesel is also desperately needed to power this foster care community's generator. For more information on how to donate food parcels or diesel, email firstname.lastname@example.org
To make a financial donation, visit the LIV website. Here you'll also find a list of services (health and therapy) and goods (clothes, food and essentials) that can be purchased online to support their various initiatives.
To help with the shortages of food and other essentials in KwaZulu-Natal, Volvo Bloemfontein has organised a drive to collect non-perishable goods and deliver them from the Free State to Durban. For more information, call 051 403 4200.
• This article was first published by the Sunday Times. Read the original here.