The Good Hope Volunteers team have been hard at work managing our 35+ projects during the lockdown.
South Africa still remains in Level 3 lockdown, and we have not yet opened our borders to international travel. There is no clear indication of when this will be, but as we struggle to get a handle on infection rates, we also prepare for a new “new” South Africa.
Given the tight budget that many of the NGO’s and NPO’s operate on, a couple of our treasured projects have had to close permanently, or have shifted business to other activities.
It’s with great sadness that we are saying goodbye to the Children’s hospital project, a long standing partner of Good Hope Volunteers and a treasured member of the volunteering community here in Cape Town. As the Children’s Hospital project operates in the oldest and most established Children’s Hospital in the city, the hospital staff have made the hard decision that due to the nature of the current crisis, adding extra personnel into the hospital is unwarranted and will be another risk to the patients there. Given the nature of the COVID-19 virus, and the lengthy international timeline expected, the organisation running volunteers in the hospital cannot maintain the organisation for that long. The hope for them to open up after all this is over, remains and Good Hope Volunteers will be their first call, as we have always provided them with trustworthy, effective and positive volunteers. We wish all the staff and organisers of the Children’s Hospital the very best, and we thank them for their loyalty, optimism and courage during this trying time.
Another Good Hope Volunteer project that we have had a long standing relationship with is the Surfing with Kids project, and we are more amazed by their story than most. They have, in this time of need, completely shifted their focus by moving to a whole new level of community service. The project has been able to provide food parcels to JCC Camp. A poor community that is consisting four different areas with underprivileged children. Even though this has come at the cost of on of our fafourite volunteer projects, which is now permanently closed, this is a great example of how special people throughout the country have shifted focus, and pored their love and attention into their community.
There is currently a total of 22 families the project supports, which totals 150 people. They are working with the National “Lunchbox Fund” which effectively distributes food parcels and runs feeding schemes for South African’s in need. A grocery box costs R400 and should feed one family of 4, one meal per day for 4 weeks. Each R400 box contains:
If you would like more information about this new focus, please let us know.
We salute the team at the “Surfing with kids” project, we support them and will always be indebted to their kindness.
Finally, we have also had to say goodbye to our friends at the Rural Schools project. A number of factors have attributed to this loss, but mainly that being the COVID-19 crisis. They relied solely on international visitors to keep up the good work they did and has therefore unfortunately not been able to keep their staff employed or their doors open.
While the above mentioned projects are permanently closing, the following projects are struggling and will temporarily not be available because volunteers would be at a high risk in working close with the local community while the pandemic is still an issue:
Around the world women and men have spent months locked down, developing a greater sense of self, and a greater desire to help the world around them. They have watched the news, read the reports of countries struggling, people going hungry, and environments in need of protecting.
Yes we have lost some projects, yes, the face of our nations have changed, but in their place will spring up communities who serve and help one another, and neighbours who care for each other. Volunteers no longer take for granted the lives they lead.
Good Hope Volunteers is waiting for the moment our borders open, and the international help pours in.
Vanessa Randon (Programme Manager)
The Good Hope Volunteer Team
To be part of our amazing volunteer community, please contact us.