“We are worried about school; we have no bags, no stationery, no uniforms. We will fall behind in our education whilst other children will work”. During a trauma counselling session with children affected by the tornado in Duduza, besides an overwhelming fear of the “black wind with two eyes” or “the snake that laid its eggs,” the preoccupation and greatest anxiety was the challenge to go to school empty handed. How impressive that even in the face of such a traumatic experience, after such unbelievable devastation, these children are focused on upliftment through education.
Gift of the Givers will be handing out a comprehensive stationery kit comprising 36 items each to 200 children today. The value of each package is R300 and comprises a school bag, lunch box, water bottle, books, pens, crayons, colouring pencils and all items related to schooling requirements in the younger age group.
This does not detract from the fact that several trauma counselling sessions are still required for many children and adults who have the fear the “snake will come back to fetch its eggs;” a 2 year old refuses to get off the back of its mother; a slight wind or a degree of darkness in the sky leads to uneasiness and fear.
Building of temporary housing
Building of temporary housing carries on at a rapid pace; 50 houses were completed in just over 48 hours; construction of the next 70 has commenced in earnest with all the material on site already. Feeding, food parcels, bottled water, household and personal hygiene pack, and clothing distribution is on going. Support from South Africans has been absolutely amazing. Well wishers have been pouring into the affected area to provide food, clothing, building material or just a kind word of support.
These activities carry on late into the night as Gift of the Givers Foundation has lit up the area with powerful lights through its own generator. The Archbishop of the Anglican Church of the Southern African region, Thabo Makgoba, was on site to console, to comfort, to pray and to make a contribution of R50 000 to Gift of the Givers housing effort. Indeed spiritual leaders from many cultures have visited giving hope; the hope is already manifested in the Ubuntu oriented South African community making great contributions; just a few individuals and companies collectively have already pledged R800 000 in cash and kind; support from the general public support also is flowing in.