Helping Others in Tough Times

Can we go about helping others when we ourselves are facing difficulty? What does it mean to give when we are going through hardship? At a time when COVID-19 has upended our lives and livelihoods, when some of us have lost our jobs, savings, security and human contact, and we are scared and uncertain of what the future will bring, can we still give to others?

Most of us think of helping others, or more specifically, giving to others, in one of two ways. The first is the physical act of handing over our money to someone either on the street or at a robot (that’s a “traffic light” for our international readers), where the sight of someone looking desolate tugs at our heartstrings and moves us enough to open our car window to give. The second is giving to a Non-Profit Organisation, where we don’t come in direct contact with the beneficiaries, but trust that the organisation we are giving to is distributing our hard-earned donation with conscience and fairness.

Helping others in need during lockdown

Although the end result of the above examples is the same to some extent, they come from vastly different sources; one is from the heart, and the other from the head.


But in these unprecedented times, are we able to do either? How can we, when we are struggling ourselves, go about helping others with financial aid, and who is worthy of our generosity when we are giving from our need, and not our surplus?


Livelihood development and poverty alleviation have always been at the heart of what Impophomo believes and implements, but under the exceptional circumstances that we all find ourselves in, Impophomo has moved into disaster relief mode. The disaster we are trying to avert is hunger on a scale not seen before.


It is true that most of us are poorer than we were in March when COVID-19 became a reality and the world changed, and it is true that most of us don’t have surplus funds like we used to for helping others through charitable giving. But how relative is poverty in these times? Tonight, will we have to listen to our child crying because they are hungry, or go to bed hungry ourselves? Will we have to water down our food to make it stretch a little further? Will we watch our previously employed neighbour begging for food because they have lost their job?

Helping others by supplying food parcels

How far are we willing to drift from our comfort zone to help others when we ourselves are on shaky ground? ‘Giving’ is not merely the act of handing over money, but giving is the act of going beyond our comfort zone be it financially, emotionally or physically, to give a little of what we have to others that don’t have any.


In these times Impophomo urges you to give what you can. Give your time if you have it, give comfort where you can, give encouragement when needed, give of your expertise if possible, and give a thought and a prayer to those that have lost so much of what little they had in the first place. There are many ways you can continue helping others.