A group of women from the Nomzamo community have come together this Mandela Month to show their spirit of ubuntu by helping a widow in need and her family.
The group has rallied to support the woman, who recently lost her husband, the sole breadwinner of her household. Even before his death, the family were in dire straits.
The women decided to practise what they preach by helping the woman and her offfour spring improve their living conditions for Mandela Day. They have been supporting the family since they came to know of their circumstances.
Phumzile September-Williams, a student at Stellenbosch University, has taken the lead in the project. She believes it will show that “helping people without the expectation of anything in return is practising ubuntu”.
“This initiative indeed celebrates and carries forward the teachings of our late leader, Nelson Mandela,” she said.
According to September-Williams, the Nomzamo widow had been unemployed for some time and has battled to find employment. Since the death of her husband, the family has not had an income and has been struggling to keep its head above water.
“The mother has resorted to scratching in bins to get food for her children,” she explains, adding that she has done odd domestic jobs as a form of income.
“Aside from the family needing a revamp of the house, they are also in desperate need of food – perishable and non-perishable,” she relates.
“They are really battling to make ends meet and children need to eat for their development and be able to progress at school.”
What’s more, they also need clothing, September-Williams explains, saying both the woman and her children do not have decent clothes to wear.
While any form of clothing and shoe donations would be welcome by the family, September-Williams calls on the community to donate clothes for the children aged 12, eight, five and two.
In keeping with this spirit, the women have decided to refurbish and clean the family’s home in Nomzamo on Mandela Day (Thursday 18 July) and are calling on local businesses and individuals to support the worthy cause.
“We would like to paint the interior and exterior of the house, build window panes, install a ceiling and attend to the plumbing,” September-Williams said.
“We are also seeking donations of beds, bedding, cupboards, kitchen utensils and appliances, furniture and toiletries.”
To make the project a reality, the women need support from the community. Donations of second-hand items in good condition are also welcome, and donors are welcome to roll up their sleeves and spend their 67 minutes for Mandela Day aiding the women and spreading the ubuntu spirit.V For more information or to get involved, call or send a WhatsApp message to September-Williams on 062 309 2456.