During the #CoronaVirus and COVID-19 pandemic, forgood and our network of corporate employee volunteering programmes can be a powerful platform for understanding the realtime needs of the NPO sector in South Africa. We have a Volunteering in the time of #CoronaVirus campaign up – which we update every day. There you’ll find all the ways you can assist NPOs during this difficult time.
This is a series of posts (a VoxPop, if you will) to understand the immediate reaction to the pandemic. Use this to identify ways to help and structure tactical CSI / CSR responses to organisations, beneficiaries and communities in need.
Our question to forgood’s 400+ NPOs:
What’s happening with your current projects? Are you pushing through or cancelling?
Abraham Kriel Childcare: Our one big project the Turkey Festival was supposed to happen on 16 May. It was a potjie competition with 150 contestants (15 pots). We are redesigning the campaign to try and do it remotely. NOTE: This NPO is not currently active on forgood.
APD Nelson Mandela Bay: We have four production lines and all are dependent on us acquiring materials to continue with production. This continues on a day-to-day basis, as long as we have materials. If we do not receive funding, or delivery of materials, short-time has to be introduced. If stronger control measures are introduced by Government, we will comply, although we do not have the finances if costs are involved. Our workers are also being negatively hampered by ongoing short-time and all will need some form of financial assistance, which we cannot do, to survive during these difficult times. NOTE: This NPO is not currently active on forgood.
Baby Hope House: Our fundraisers are postponed and one cancelled so funds are in short supply.
Bless-a-Baby: We have one mission and project: to provide care packages for mom and new-born babies on a continuous basis to 9 hospitals in the Western Cape and 4 hospitals in Bloemfontein. So we will push through.
Botshabelo: All our large events are postponed and we are reshuffling to plan how to schedule them (our 20th Birthday Bash, our Golf Day, etc.)
Community Women Action: Currently we are pushing through but taking precautionary measures. We have however cancelled all activities that require large gatherings.
DAKTARI Bush School & Wildlife Orphanage: All volunteer bookings from Europe and USA are cancelled. We are still accepting the ones from other countries who are not banned but obviously there are no much enquiries at the moment! We have volunteers who already paid and we will postpone their booking for as long as necessary. Financially we can probably survive with our cash flow for another month but we cannot project ourselves for the “after corona”. We already had some parents of the local children we still have this week, questioning about the necessity of giving us their children as the “white” people are the ones bringing the virus (our volunteers). We’re a bit afraid of xenophobia virus taking over to be honest. Our government and politicians need to calm the people as quick as possible.
Epic Foundation: Will not work for the volunteers for Epic as we need to be in the office to pack the bags – we have a small group of volunteers (4) who agreed to support with this, so should be ok.
Epilepsy SA – Free State & North West Branch: Some projects, such as the TB and HIV screening and testing projects are being postponed and our day care centre is closed, but the residential care we offer must continue as many of our beneficiaries have no family.
Fisantekraal Centre for Development: We are pushing through as stated this week and then after Easter again as per usual depending on further news from the Presidency and monitoring the situation. Many of our job shadow partners are big companies and so they have cancelled the job shadows because of drastic measures taken on their side.
Gateway Health Institute: We are using digital and mobile phone technology as far as possible. All face to face sessions have been cancelled or moved forward for now.
Gerald Fitzpatrick House and Nursing Home: A few staff members are able to work from home, but at this point have chosen not to for now. Work carries on at the Home as our beneficiaries are our priority.
Great GirlsTrust: One cancelled, the others are in July – September so we will see state of the nation.
Heartlands Baby Sanctuary: Putting all our events on hold unfortunately – that includes in-house and at other venues. Also makes planning very difficult for large events in September/ October.
i4118 Foundation NPC: Pushing through but also trying to spread a positive message of hope – in the end, the children that we serve will remember this time not because of the impact the virus had or was but rather for how we handled it, we are very vigilant and careful not to get involved in spreading misinformation and panic. After all, how many of us adults are fearful of situations not because of the danger but rather how our parents and adults in our lives responded to similar situations while we were growing up.
Kagcisham WOMEN Development Center: We are continuing also observing any threats.
Kids Haven: We are maintaining all programs as far as possible in the interests of our beneficiaries.
Kwanliziyonye resource care centre: We are pushing though it’s hard because we do not have resources at the sometime people needs us.
Maitland Cottage Home Society: We are pushing through with our projects.
Phakamani Young Minds Academy: We have already cancelled all our current projects/ put them on hold.
Project Playground Trust: In the next few days and weeks, we plan to partner with the local clinics and other non-profits to: Provide educational materials about the virus to members of the community; Distribute hygiene products (such as soap and sanitiser for families); establish a soup kitchen for struggling families who normally rely on school lunches and Project Playground dinners.
Rata Social Services NPC: Most of our projects involve upliftment and care in the communities, especially with children, such as holiday camps. These have been cancelled.
Retina South Africa, a patient-driven action group: We are pushing through with all our projects, except for the AMD project which involves high risk groups. Many of the retirement homes are cancelling in any event. We will look at video conferencing in future, depending on the length of the disaster.
STAND: We are managing to push through for some smaller equine therapy sessions, however we are postponing the next drug treatment cycle.
The Character Company: Pushing through but also trying to spread a positive message out there – in the end the boys and the moms that we serve will remember this time not for what the virus was but for how we handled it, we are very vigilant but very careful not to get involved in spreading panic and misinformation. One of our camps had to be postponed as the venue in East London made a decision that they cannot host any camps and we could not find an alternative venue – the camp was moved to June/July holidays at this point.
The LifeMatters Foundation: Our projects are school dependent so we cannot resume until school is back in session.
The Teddy Bear Clinic for Abused Children: Fundraising events have been put on hold for the time being and we are focusing on writing proposals in order to bring in much needed funds.
The Wot-If? Trust: All events have been either cancelled or downscaled significantly.
Ya Bana Village for the Children: We are postponing hopefully till after Easter, but we will see.