Organisation calls for help in ‘vulnerable communities’

2020-03-26 06:00
Local Lavender Hill sports teams and children who used to participate in sport as a means to stay off the street are now at risk once again as the Covid-19 pandemic halts sporting activities. PHOTO: Racine Edwardes

Local Lavender Hill sports teams and children who used to participate in sport as a means to stay off the street are now at risk once again as the Covid-19 pandemic halts sporting activities. PHOTO: Racine Edwardes

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While white-collar workers, who traditionally reside in affluent areas, have been encouraged to start working from home, Ralph Bouwers is concerned about the plight of blue-collar workers who are not afforded the same luxury.

Bouwers says, as a result of this, it stands to reason that residents from poorer communities, such as the Cape Flats and townships, will be harder hit by the Covid-19 outbreak.

Bouwers, the founder of the community upliftment initiative Guardians of the National Treasure, works closely with children from Lavender Hill. The non-profit organisation (NPO) has launched several sporting and art clubs to provide a constructive outlet for children.

The Lavender Hill soccer teams have come out victorious at several tournaments despite only being established about two years ago.

But since president Cyril Ramaphosa’s decree to close schools to encourage social distancing, Bouwers says the community has been in a state of limbo.

“We have completely stopped everything; nothing is happening. I walked through the community yesterday and the kids were sitting in the courts. In every corner, I could see 10 to 20 kids just sitting.”

One of his main concerns is that vulnerable communities have not been educated and equipped to handle the outbreak.

“There’s been no way to prepare the communities with sanitisers and wipes. The only organisation that came to the party was Peninsula Schools Feeding Association which donated 500 loaves of bread and they sent that to lots of locations.”

In addition to the lack of resources available to practice good hygiene, little social distancing is being practised in Lavender Hill, according to Bouwers.

“On certain days, I’ve seen about 60 kids just walking in the road,” he says.

“It has been recommended to wash your hands for 20 seconds but here they have to share a bowl to wash their hands.

“What’s happening is that the poor areas have been crippled.”

The solution, Bouwers recommends, is for relief organisations and NPOs to gather resources and to get knowledgeable people into vulnerable communities to educate residents.

He has also contacted various organisations in Cape Town to ask for assistance.

“We must shift support to where it is needed; in the areas lacking resources and townships.”

Guardians of the National Treasure will be distributing food it has received from supporting organisations to vulnerable communities. “I’ll get one aunty to come from one street and we can give her the food to give to everybody else in the street. We will be doing this in a controlled and orderly manner.”

Another concern is the effect the temporary shutdown of businesses, and the subsequent lack of work will have on the already crime-ridden community.“In my street, three of the youngsters have been told not to come to work; that there is no work for them. What that is going to do to the crime – when people don’t have money and need to put food on the table,” says Bouwers.

He also warns that some people are now going to use the opportunity to capitalise on the health crisis.

“We can expect all sorts of things to come out of the woodwork,”he says.

While white-collar workers, who traditionally reside in affluent areas, have been encouraged to start working from home, Ralph Bouwers is concerned about the plight of blue-collar workers who are not afforded the same luxury.

Bouwers says, as a result of this, it stands to reason that residents from poorer communities, such as the Cape Flats and townships, will be harder hit by the Covid-19 outbreak.

Bouwers, the founder of the community upliftment initiative Guardians of the National Treasure, works closely with children from Lavender Hill. The non-profit organisation (NPO) has launched several sporting and art clubs to provide a constructive outlet for children.

The Lavender Hill soccer teams have come out victorious at several tournaments despite only being established about two years ago.

But since president Cyril Ramaphosa’s decree to close schools to encourage social distancing, Bouwers says the community has been in a state of limbo.

“We have completely stopped everything; nothing is happening. I walked through the community yesterday and the kids were sitting in the courts. In every corner, I could see 10 to 20 kids just sitting.”

One of his main concerns is that vulnerable communities have not been educated and equipped to handle the outbreak.

“There’s been no way to prepare the communities with sanitisers and wipes. The only organisation that came to the party was Peninsula Schools Feeding Association which donated 500 loaves of bread and they sent that to lots of locations.”

In addition to the lack of resources available to practice good hygiene, little social distancing is being practised in Lavender Hill, according to Bouwers.

“On certain days, I’ve seen about 60 kids just walking in the road,” he says.

“It has been recommended to wash your hands for 20 seconds but here they have to share a bowl to wash their hands.

“What’s happening is that the poor areas have been crippled.”

The solution, Bouwers recommends, is for relief organisations and NPOs to gather resources and to get knowledgeable people into vulnerable communities to educate residents in small groups.

He has also contacted various organisations in Cape Town to ask for assistance.

“We must shift support to where it is needed; in the areas lacking resources and townships.”

Guardians of the National Treasure will be distributing food it has received from supporting organisations to vulnerable communities.

“I’ll get one aunty to come from one street and we can give her the food to give to everybody else in the street. We will be doing this in a controlled and orderly manner.”

Another concern is the effect the temporary shutdown of businesses, and the subsequent lack of work will have on the already crime-ridden community.

“In my street, three of the youngsters have been told not to come to work; that there is no work for them. What that is going to do to the crime – when people don’t have money and need to put food on the table,” says Bouwers.

He also warns that some people are now going to use the opportunity to capitalise on the health crisis.

“We can expect all sorts of things to come out of the woodwork,”he says.

While white-collar workers, who traditionally reside in affluent areas, have been encouraged to start working from home, Ralph Bouwers is concerned about the plight of blue-collar workers who are not afforded the same luxury.

Bouwers says, as a result of this, it stands to reason that residents from poorer communities, such as the Cape Flats and townships, will be harder hit by the Covid-19 outbreak.

Bouwers, the founder of the community upliftment initiative Guardians of the National Treasure (GNT), works closely with children from Lavender Hill. The non-profit organisation (NPO) has launched several sporting and art clubs to provide a constructive outlet for children. But since president Cyril Ramaphosa’s decree to close schools to encourage social distancing, Bouwers says the community has been in a state of limbo.

“We have completely stopped everything; nothing is happening. I walked through the community yesterday and the kids were sitting in the courts. In every corner, I could see 10 to 20 kids just sitting.”

One of his main concerns is that vulnerable communities have not been educated and equipped to handle the outbreak.

“There’s been no way to prepare the communities with sanitisers and wipes. The only organisation that came to the party was Peninsula Schools Feeding Association which donated 500 loaves of bread and they sent that to lots of locations.”

In addition to the lack of resources available to practice good hygiene, little social distancing is being practised in Lavender Hill, according to Bouwers.

“On certain days, I’ve seen about 60 kids just walking in the road,” he says.

“It has been recommended to wash your hands for 20 seconds but here they have to share a bowl to wash their hands.

“What’s happening is that the poor areas have been crippled.”

The solution, Bouwers recommends, is for relief organisations and NPOs to gather resources and to get knowledgeable people into vulnerable communities to educate residents in small groups. He has also contacted various organisations in Cape Town to ask for assistance. “We must shift support to where it is needed; in the areas lacking resources and townships.”

GNT will be distributing food it has received from supporting organisations to vulnerable communities. “ We will be doing this in a controlled and orderly manner.”

Another concern is the effect the temporary shutdown of businesses, and the subsequent lack of work will have on the already crime-ridden community.

“In my street, three of the youngsters have been told not to come to work; that there is no work for them. What that is going to do to the crime – when people don’t have money and need to put food on the table.”

While white-collar workers, who traditionally reside in affluent areas, have been encouraged to start working from home, Ralph Bouwers is concerned about the plight of blue-collar workers who are not afforded the same luxury.

Bouwers says, as a result of this, it stands to reason that residents from poorer communities, such as the Cape Flats and townships, will be harder hit by the Covid-19 outbreak.

Bouwers, the founder of the community upliftment initiative Guardians of the National Treasure, works closely with children from Lavender Hill.

The non-profit organisation (NPO) has launched several sporting and art clubs to provide a constructive outlet for children.

The Lavender Hill soccer teams have come out victorious at several tournaments despite only being established about two years ago.

But since president Cyril Ramaphosa’s decree to close schools to encourage social distancing, Bouwers says the community has been in a state of limbo.

“We have completely stopped everything; nothing is happening.

“I walked through the community yesterday and the kids were sitting in the courts. In every corner, I could see 10 to 20 kids just sitting.”

One of his main concerns is that vulnerable communities have not been educated and equipped to handle the outbreak.

“There’s been no way to prepare the communities with sanitisers and wipes. The only organisation that came to the party was Peninsula Schools Feeding Association which donated 500 loaves of bread and they sent that to lots of locations.”

In addition to the lack of resources available to practice good hygiene, little social distancing is being practised in Lavender Hill, according to Bouwers.

“On certain days, I’ve seen about 60 kids just walking in the road,” he says.

“It has been recommended to wash your hands for 20 seconds but here they have to share a bowl to wash their hands.

“What’s happening is that the poor areas have been crippled.”

The solution, Bouwers recommends, is for relief organisations and NPOs to gather resources and to get knowledgeable people into vulnerable communities to educate residents in small groups.

He has also contacted various organisations in Cape Town to ask for assistance.

“We must shift support to where it is needed; in the areas lacking resources and townships.”

Guardians of the National Treasure will be distributing food it has received from supporting organisations to vulnerable communities.

“I’ll get one aunty to come from one street and we can give her the food to give to everybody else in the street. We will be doing this in a controlled and orderly manner.”

Another concern is the effect the temporary shutdown of businesses, and the subsequent lack of work will have on the already crime-ridden community.

“In my street, three of the youngsters have been told not to come to work; that there is no work for them. What that is going to do to the crime – when people don’t have money and need to put food on the table,” says Bouwers.

He also warns that some people are now going to use the opportunity to capitalise on the health crisis.

“We can expect all sorts of things to come out of the woodwork,”he says.

While white-collar workers, who traditionally reside in affluent areas, have been encouraged to start working from home, Ralph Bouwers is concerned about the plight of blue-collar workers who are not afforded the same luxury.

Bouwers says, as a result of this, it stands to reason that residents from poorer communities, such as the Cape Flats and townships, will be harder hit by the Covid-19 outbreak.

Bouwers, the founder of the community upliftment initiative Guardians of the National Treasure, works closely with children from Lavender Hill. The non-profit organisation (NPO) has launched several sporting and art clubs to provide a constructive outlet for children.

The Lavender Hill soccer teams have come out victorious at several tournaments despite only being established about two years ago. But since president Cyril Ramaphosa’s decree to close schools to encourage social distancing, Bouwers says the community has been in a state of limbo.

“We have completely stopped everything; nothing is happening. I walked through the community yesterday and the kids were sitting in the courts. In every corner, I could see 10 to 20 kids just sitting.”

One of his main concerns is that vulnerable communities have not been educated and equipped to handle the outbreak.

“There’s been no way to prepare the communities with sanitisers and wipes. The only organisation that came to the party was Peninsula Schools Feeding Association which donated 500 loaves of bread and they sent that to lots of locations.”

In addition to the lack of resources available to practice good hygiene, little social distancing is being practised in Lavender Hill, according to Bouwers.

“On certain days, I’ve seen about 60 kids just walking in the road,” he says.

“It has been recommended to wash your hands for 20 seconds but here they have to share a bowl to wash their hands.

“What’s happening is that the poor areas have been crippled.”

The solution, Bouwers recommends, is for relief organisations and NPOs to gather resources and to get knowledgeable people into vulnerable communities to educate residents in small groups.

He has also contacted various organisations in Cape Town to ask for assistance.

“We must shift support to where it is needed; in the areas lacking resources and townships.”

Guardians of the National Treasure will be distributing food it has received from supporting organisations to vulnerable communities.

“I’ll get one aunty to come from one street and we can give her the food to give to everybody else in the street. We will be doing this in a controlled and orderly manner.”

Another concern is the effect the temporary shutdown of businesses, and the subsequent lack of work will have on the already crime-ridden community.

“In my street, three of the youngsters have been told not to come to work; that there is no work for them. What that is going to do to the crime – when people don’t have money and need to put food on the table,” says Bouwers.

His attempts at reaching out to the kindness of others proved fruitful as he garnered contributions from several NPOs and other organisations. Ribbon of Hope, South Peninsula Feeding Scheme and Swag CPT were among the contributors.

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