Rise. Rebuild. Restore. These words have come to mean so much to communities in KZN who, in one way or another, have been affected by the recent April floods. While the loss that many have suffered is real and noteworthy, the sympathetic response of people to a humanitarian need in the aftermath of a disaster has been extraordinary.
Over the last two weeks we have witnessed genuine generosity, kindness and true compassion for others. The strength of partnership has also been highlighted in this time – the joining of local NPOs to provide timely relief to affected persons, unaffected communities collecting and donating goods or services, even the simple act of showing up and showing care for people has brought hope to many in a time of tragedy.
Our response to the disaster was informed by our long-standing relationship with various communities within the Valley of 1000 Hills, one of the affected areas. Having spent the last 19 years cultivating deep connections with them, responding swiftly and sympathetically to the situation was secondary in nature, reminding us of the very heart and foundation of our Organisation, ‘iThemba’ meaning hope in isiZulu
Upon hearing the news of the flood, our priority was firstly to connect with our beneficiaries to confirm their safety and convey our sympathies and support, and then to understand the needs of the greater community and how we could offer our assistance. Recognition must be given to two of our staff members Busisiwe Khumalo, our ECD Monitor, and Lunga Mazeka, our resident Social Worker, who have worked tirelessly over the last two weeks assessing the need and responding to those who have suffered. They are truly heroines of Hope!
We were relieved to hear of the safety of all our Scholars and their families and even more grateful to learn that most of our partnering Pre-Schools, including their staff, children and respective families were not too badly affected. Those few Schools that did incur structural damage, we are working closely with the Principals on finding solutions to their needs but in terms of immediate relief, water, blankets and food has been supplied to them.
PILLARS OF STRENGTH
We have been blown away by the support many of our Principals have given to their respective communities in this time. These women have fast become pillars of strength as they took on the responsibility of also helping those outside of their School community with home-cooked meals and sharing blankets and other winter items with them. Truly inspirational.
We would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to all those who have partnered with us in our flooding relief efforts thus far. Because of your generosity we have been able to impact not only our beneficiaries but the greater community too by providing them with food, water, blankets, shoes, children’s toys, items of clothing and other household sundry. Busi said the community’s response to this has been truly humbling. “There is a great sense of appreciation and gratitude.. some people have lost everything so receiving hope in the form of food or blankets has meant the world to them.”
WE THANK YOU!
If you are looking to get involved in any way with our flooding relief efforts, please get in touch with us.