For the last 11 weeks, ER Africa staff members have reached out during the pandemic with emergency food and supplies to help their community in Fish Hoek, South Africa. It’s been stressful to get government permission, procure food and set up deliveries. We greatly appreciate the support of donors who have made it possible to provide 2,500 meals, including for the children and families who participate in the Dream Center.
Recently, we were able to surprise the kids by providing art supplies. ER’s Amy Townsend shares:
“We partnered with the Butterfly Art Project (BAP) to provide the art kits. BAP had a big campaign to get art kits into the hands of 4,000+ children during lockdown. We received 31 kits and delivered them with food parcels to the Dream Center kids.
“We’ve used the art supplies for different projects conducted virtually with the kids, including a Mandala online art exhibit, our Deuteronomy 7:9 collage, jester hats and more. The supplies have meant so much to the kids. One girl told me using the art supplies helped her brain to stop worrying.
“It was great to partner with BAP and provide an educational opportunity for the kids. They love the supplies and doing activities from home.”
Summer: COVID-19 Response Continues
ER will continue providing emergency food and other supplies this summer for the families who have exhausted their resources and are unable to work because the quarantine phase-down. The food, tutoring and encouragement we are providing to the Dream Center kids is proving to be invaluable toward keeping them healthy and engaged.
One area where we need help is technology. We are using online tools to connect with the kids, but their families are struggling with poor devices (often just old cell phones), little or no Internet and a lack of tech knowledge. These are solvable problems. Pray with us as we seek the best solutions for a community that struggles for resources.
April 16 Update
Food & Books Provided to Vulnerable Families
This week, ER staff in greater Cape Town purchased and distributed a second round of emergency food. It was no small feat. The South African government continues to require residents to stay at home. Fortunately, ER was able to procure a government pass to provide these valuable groceries and supplies. With your help, we continue to invest in the Dream Center kids and their families.
ER’s Brice Wilson shares: This food went to 26 families associated with the Dream Centre, representing well over 100 people. This is our second round of food distribution. Today each family received: potatoes, carrots, apples, porridge, rice, pasta, bread, milk, oil. They also received a small hygiene package.
As part of our South Africa pandemic response, ER team members have come up with a brilliant strategy for keeping Fish Hoek Dream Centre kids engaged in their studies during the government’s 21-day lockdown.
While distributing emergency food the children and their families, the team includes books from the Dream Centre library and has created a reading contest…with prizes. They’ve even dubbed their delivery vehicle the “Dream Centre bookmobile”.
Along with bags of groceries, ER staff members are sharing books, love and encouragement. Dream Centre co-director Amy Townsend shares this story about reaching out to the parents of DC kids:
“We sent out a message to the Dream Centre parents about our desire to help them through this uncertain time. We explained we were unsure of the best way to do this, but wanted them to know we are here for such a time as this.
“After the message went out, we heard from the most unlikely family. We were surprised they reached out. We’ve always considered them one of our more stable families. Knowing this was a time to show love, we gathered food and supplies and headed out to meet the mother.
“She broke down in tears…in the middle of the road…which caused me to get teary-eyed. Then we began laughing because we started to hug before realizing that social distancing made hugging awkward.
“The family she works for is home temporarily and ‘doesn’t need her, so she will not get paid for the next few weeks. The three bags of food and supplies cost about $30. It will not last her family for long. Yet she was thankful for it.
“She was equally thankful for the Bible verse, 2 Tim. 1:7, we shared with the Dream Centre families. She said the verse would help get her through this crisis.
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. — 2 Tim. 1:7
South Africa Pandemic Response: How To Help
“ER has set up an “Emergency Food” fund for all our Dream Centre kids around the world. If you would like to partner with us, please consider donating below.”
Special thanks to our entire staff in South Africa for reaching out to people in need. The impact of the pandemic in South Africa could last far longer than the 21-day lockdown. ER plans to continue to help vulnerable families with food and emergency supplies.