When disaster strikes
Take hundreds of shacks made of wood
and cardboard, within touching distance of each other ... the naked
flame from a candle, open fire or paraffin stove ... and a gale
South-Easter – and it's not surprising that runaway fires are a perennial
in the settlements in and around Cape Town.
It's not unusual for 180 or even more shacks to burn down before
help can arrive and the fire is brought under control. People already
living in poverty and hardship lose the few possessions they own,
leaving them utterly destitute.
Apart from losing their shelter, beds, clothing, food and household
items, important documents such as birth and marriage certificates,
drivers' licences and ID documents are sometimes destroyed.
Our Crisis Relief and Prevention Programme operates to
- cater for the basic needs of vulnerable people and contribute to restoring human dignity when natural, political, socio-economic conditions cause a disaster.
- to professionalise our crisis response by defining a coherent response so that we respond timely to disasters and manage shocks in line with international best practice
What we do
Distribute basic immediate material needs and provide a listening ear in times of crisis in urban trough our 9 Community Development Centers since they are the gateway to the community as well as the rural areas.
Run educational activities for staff/volunteers to discuss crisis awareness and preparedness, to define coherent initial response to crisis processes, as well as familiarise with the Red Cross Crisis Handbook, NGO Code of Conduct as well as the Caritas Crisis Kit.
Carry out prevention work to mitigate disaster and reduce vulnerability by disseminating information in discussion and awareness raising groups at our eight community development centres (CDCs) and by handing out pamphlets
Develop and implement an improved early warning and emergency preparedness plan through establishing contingency stock such as mattresses, blankets, plastics, food parcels.
Monitoring the likelihood of hazards such as conflict (political violence in election time for instance) by reading the news, specialized and government literature; all information gathered by others that may indicate conflict/ disaster.
What we have done
We have come up with a unique response kit for crisis beneficiaries, named the crisis-basin which does not only include food, but toiletry, a basin to wash a baby and family in, sanitary pads for females as well a fleece blanket to cover themselves.
Offered counselling to those affected by any crisis throughout or community development centres
Only in the last financial year we managed to distribute blankets, mattresses, plastics, plastic sheeting (for temporary housing) and food to 2651 needy people that have been overcome by disaster.
You can help towards
- purchase of the contents of the crisis basins
- enhancing the crisis basin such as adding a non-electric stove for them to warm their food.
- purchase volunteer protective gear
- donating used or unused household goods for those that have lost everything in their homes.