support others where you can
The coronavirus pandemic has had a major impact on careers, incomes and businesses across South Africa – and may for some time. In times of crisis, support and helping those in need is vital.
Few families will get through the pandemic without being affected in some way or another. The situation is quite severe, especially for those already most vulnerable, but you can offer support and help others to recover.
If you are able to, here are 4 ways you could offer help:
1. Volunteer your skills
The Forgood online platform lists a variety of NPOs and the causes they support. Through the platform, you can volunteer your skills online, or donate money or airtime directly to an organisation.
2. Join your local collective action network
Look into what your community is doing to offer support and food to those in need. Neighbourhoods across the country have formed collective action networks (CANs), with many cities creating bigger umbrella organisations to coordinate across neighbourhoods, such as Cape Town Together. If you're not sure where to start, search on social media platforms, many CANs use social media like Facebook to connect people and businesses looking to offer support.
3. Shop local and support small business
Small businesses account for millions of jobs in South Africa. It’s no secret that lockdown has had severe consequences for these businesses. Ways you can support these businesses include:
- Supporting online stores: many smaller businesses have added or expanded their online sales. Look out for locally made versions of items you need
- Word-of-mouth: If you find a local service or quality producer you’d recommend, put the word out and refer them on social media or rate their service online
- Supporting independently-owned stores, local vendors and producers whenever you can
4. Donate if you can
There are many organisations directly helping those who need it. For example, the South African government has created the Solidarity Fund, and Gift of the Givers offers healthcare, shelter, food and medical supplies. You can support these organisations through tax-deductible donations.
There is still significant and ongoing need for disaster relief and support for those most affected. Helping others will be an essential part of how we rebuild and recover in the years to come.
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