With Covid-19 wreaking havoc all over the world many people rushed to retailers to stockpile on essentials, employ rigorous hand-washing techniques, retreat indoors and distance themselves from the public in an attempt to prevent the spread of the virus.
But what happens to those who cannot stockpile, those who don’t have water readily available, and those who cannot social distance? This is a very real problem in South Africa, where poverty and unemployment are rife.
When the president announced the national lockdown which commenced on 27 March this year, millions of poor South Africans were left destitute and confused. With many of them no longer able to provide for their families, this became a very dark period in their lives. Luckily, we live in a country where many organisations place the importance of lending a hand to the needy at the top of their priorities.
The Border Kei Chamber of Business took part in various initiatives in a bid to assist the poor in the fight against the novel Covid19 pandemic. Among the various initiatives the chamber took part in, was the Ripples for change food drive, where the Chamber approached a number of organisations to donate food parcels. This was the first of many initiatives by the Chamber during these times of uncertainty.
Most recently, the Chamber collaborated with Algoa FM in the station’s Buffalo City Metro Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) drive, where both teams worked tirelessly to collect various PPE items to assist schools which would otherwise be vulnerable to the pandemic. The PPE which were collected comprised of hand sanitizers, masks, and gloves, and were distributed to two needy schools in the BCM area.
The BKCOB Komani branch, has also done its bid to combat the effects of Covid-19 on the poor in the Enoch Mgijima Local Municipality, working with various organisations, which include Let’s Talk Komani. At present they have two ongoing initiatives, one being the building of a new home for an elderly woman (102) whose living conditions are quite dire. The other one is a mask drive, where they are appealing to local businesses and members of the community to donate masks to those in need.
The BKCOB is also currently in the final stages of producing their Corporate Social Investment guide which gives business access to a number of organisations which are in need of assistance.
To get involved in the chamber’s initiatives, or if you have an initiative you would like assistance in promoting to business, get in touch with Sam Long via email on [email protected]
The support of the BKCOB member companies has been overwhelming and greatly appreciated; this indeed proves that the spirit of UBUNTU is alive, especially during these tough economic times.