Local NHW makes a difference in community

2020-04-28 06:00
Members of the Kensington 9-5 Neighbourhood Watch serving the community.

Members of the Kensington 9-5 Neighbourhood Watch serving the community.

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“We know that this is a matter of survival, and we dare not fail. We shall recover. We shall overcome.”

These were the words of president Cyril Ramaphosa as he addressed the nation and announced a country-wide lockdown. Ordinary citizens have not taken these words lightly and sprung into action to assist their fellow man.

One such group is members of the Kensington 9-5 Neighbourhood Watch (NHW). They saw the need in their community and decided to feed the vulnerable and underprivileged in the area.

Mogamat Nordien, chair of the NHW, says: “We have many unemployed people in our area and we felt that assisting them with food parcels or a warm plate of food will fill that gap during the lockdown.”

Nordien says the plan was to only feed people on a Tuesday but it was soon discovered that the need is far greater.

“I then approached the South African National Zakah Fund (SANZAF) and they have been supplying us with food parcels,” added Nordien.

He says to date more than 1 350 people have benefitted. “I have been asked for assistance from people in District Six, Salt River and Woodstock; people are really struggling out there. So we cater not only for our community but for those in other areas as well.”

Nordien explains that the response from recipients has made it all worth it. “We are greeted with grateful hearts and some even get emotional when we hand them a food parcel.”

He adds that when they are running low on food parcels, they use the food items instead to cook warm meals. “We now give warm food on a Wednesday and Saturday and distribute food parcels on a Tuesday,” says Nordien.

He says they observe strict social distancing measures.

“We told ourselves from the beginning that if we are going to do this we will do it right, without putting our health or the health of those we serve at risk. We wear our masks, gloves and sanitize regularly.

“Our motivation for doing this is that we don’t want to see people go hungry. We refer to ourselves as the Kensington 9-5 Neighbourhood Watch, a group that cares for the community.”

He explains that “9-5” refers to Fifth Avenue and Ninth Street in Kensington, which was notorious for drug peddling until they started patrolling there.

“And that is still our goal: to make a change wherever we go,” explains Nordien.

  • Anyone wishing to make a donation of non-perishable foods can contact Nordien on 072 472 6745.


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