SAFI COVID relief continues to touch lives

Trystan meets Mama Micky from Mama Micky's Yiza Ekhaya Soup Kitchen in Khayelitsha

By Trystan Tregenza Hall

The COVID-19 response may now be Level One, but the economic pain continues to bite.

Through the work of South African Friends of Israel (SAFI) Cape Council, we are continuing our outreach to the wider community here in the Western Cape, giving something back to our friends who find themselves in the grip of desperate needs. Thanks to your generosity and that of Angel Network, many families have received food vouchers in recent weeks. The vouchers represent an evolution of the food parcels previously distributed; restoring dignity to the recipients. Although use of the vouchers is restricted to food products in participating stores, the vouchers give the recipients the choice to buy those items they actually need. The vouchers have been distributed not only to families but to soup kitchens and churches, targeting the aid to the neediest. These simple vouchers are helping to engender an outpouring of gratitude towards the Jewish community.

In October, representatives of SAFI visited Mama Micky’s Yiza Ekhaya Soup Kitchen in Khayelitsha. During the lockdown, Mama Micky (aged 65) was feeding around 450 impoverished local residents daily, many of whom were children and elderly widows, and is attempting to grow some of her own vegetables to cope with demand. At another Khayelitsha outreach also supported by SAFI, Pastor Aaron Makili has been establishing a community vegetable garden to both feed the needy, as well as to provide a space for improving self-esteem through meaningful volunteering. The means of the community in Khayelitsha are pitifully meagre. However, through your continued assistance, SAFI is working to deliver gardening equipment to Mama Micky and Pastor Makili in order to help the community to help themselves.

Together, we are making an impact. One of SAFI’s donors recently told us of how she decided to challenge her employer to match her contribution – which they did. These acts of generosity are making an incredible difference in many lives, helping to restore both strength and hope.

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Published in the print edition of the December 2020/January 2021 issue.
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