When winter arrives, it seems to happen bit by bit and then all at once. Suddenly, the coat at the back of your cupboard needs to be hauled out and dusted off, and everyone is walking around wrapped up in woolly scarves.
For most of us, this wonderfully chilly time calls for cosy fires and hearty meals. But this is only a reality for some. As the cold creeps in, others struggle desperately to try to keep dry and warm, praying to survive the harsh weather conditions with little-to-no protection.
The harsh reality
At the end of 2021, the Daily Maverick published an article about the negative effect Covid-19 has had on homelessness in Cape Town. With the rise in job loss and loss of housing, basic needs are not being met for many. These needs are shelter, access to healthcare and sanitation, fair treatment by security forces, and economic opportunities.
It has been shown that homelessness is often caused by traumatic life experiences like the loss of loved ones, job loss, or domestic abuse. Thankfully, there are people out there who make it their life’s work to help those who are often forgotten by society. But this work is not easy, nor profitable, which is why it so crucial for citizens to offer help where they can.
How to help
There are so many NGOs and NPOs that do inspiring work to empowering and protecting the less fortunate and disadvantaged.
These organisations always require support, and there are a number of ways to offer help – whether financial or not. From volunteering your time or donating resources to simply helping to raise funds, any contribution goes a long way.
Who to help
This organisation improves the lives of less fortunate children by running empowering programs to uplift them. These programs are focused on family reunification, education, and skills training.
The Haven Night Shelter steps in when individuals can no longer help themselves and desperately need support. The shelter provides temporary shelter, physical care, social welfare, and a sense of family.
You can help by sponsoring a bed/s, joining a Covid-19 donate challenge or volunteering. To volunteer you can become a ‘’Heart of the Haven member.’’ These volunteers make regular donations to help the less fortunate by supplying them with necessities such as ID books and transport.
The Justice Desk exists to protect the rights of children. The organisation provides child protection training and educational material creation, among other projects. The public can volunteer and assist this organisation in creating change.
It is always difficult to drive past somebody struggling in the cold, and you might feel helpless – wanting to avoid offering a hand out, but not sure how to help in a more sustainable way.
By choosing to support a local charity, you can feel at ease knowing that you’re doing what you can to help the less fortunate in a responsible way, by ensuring that your money or donated goods are in safe hands.
The above-mentioned organisations are just a few of many that need support this winter. When choosing an NPO to support, opt for one that resonates with you or your business, to grow connections that mean something to you.