This week saw us reach one year under lockdown for South Africans. We have run many outreaches over the course of this time, to the hungry, destitute and disenfranchised. We asked Ntsoaki, an Impophomo coordinator, what outreach held the most impact for her over the last year? Here’s what she had to say:
Thursday 20 August:
It was brought to our attention that a large number of pregnant women and women with children were at the traffic lights near NPCC.
Travelling along Bellairs Drive toward Olivedale hospital, I saw that each robot had 10 to 15 women with children, some pregnant. I was deeply moved. These women were so desperate, to stand with their children there. One pregnant woman was so weak she could hardly stand up. And so, Impophomo together with NPCC decided to do something about this.
43 numbered tickets were given out at two of these main intersections, mainly to women with toddlers, babies and pregnant moms. All are foreign nationals, so they don’t qualify for social grants or any government support. Tickets were given on Wednesday and distribution at the church took place on the very next day in the parking lot.
Every single ticket came back, with a few more (over 15) trying to get food packs.
The food packs contained:
Northpoint community generously donated clothes, toys, and non-perishable foods. All donated clothes were sorted in piles of men’s, women’s and children’s clothing. We then sorted each pile in different age groups and sizes. They were then packed in sets, with each set containing 3 tops, pants, and 3 pairs of shoes. Age-appropriate toys were added to the packs.
When the women came, they were ticked off the list, filled in a form with full details including clothing sizes, family members and ages, and of course, names, addresses (most didn’t have!), and cell phone numbers. The gospel was shared, and the ladies were prayed for.
What struck me was to be able to reach out to pregnant moms out there, and the ones with little children. To have to stand at the robot begging, shows how desperate these ladies are, to take the chance, putting themselves in danger so they can feed their families. An intersection for them is the place for them to be seen and heard: some were holding signs asking for any domestic jobs.
I don’t know what it feels like to be pregnant and hungry, or how it would affect the unborn child. And other children. I could see a lack of nutrition in these children, and as a mom, I cannot even imagine watching my child go hungry.
We often think we’re struggling. Yet to look at these hungry and desperate moms, I realised how privileged I am.
It made me emotional – some emotions came out that I never knew I had. One thing that I know is that as beneficial as this outreach was, it didn’t bring that much joy to me because there are so many more out there. The reality is we don’t have the resources to help everyone, but still, for the 43 moms, it made a huge difference and that is what matters.
Impophomo and NPCC continue to minister to destitute moms in the vicinity of the church. Another welfare distribution is scheduled for this Saturday the 15th of May 2021.