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Youth-led NGO serving NC community during Covid-19 pandemic


Food parcels have been provided to nearly 100 children each month since the beginning of the lockdown

Diniso Menzi, chairperson of the Inclusive Neighbourhood Spaces (INS) in Noupoort. Pictures: Supplied

A LOCAL youth-led NGO, Inclusive Neighbourhood Spaces (INS), is providing an important service to the community of Noupoort during the Covid-19 pandemic.  

Their role extends to vulnerable members of the community, from young children to the elderly, making sure that their support is both tangible and meaningful.

“As a community development organisation, we felt it is our role as active citizens to provide physical and concrete support to our community right from the start of the pandemic, which has included a feeding programme, hygiene education as well as sanitising hot spots in the community,” Diniso Menzi, chairperson of the INS, said.

Children enrolled at the INS aftercare programme, which is sponsored by Noupoort Wind Farm, are particularly vulnerable to neglect and are at a risk of malnutrition. Over this period, these young children haven’t had access to the support or daily meals that were previously provided by INS at the aftercare programmes that normally operate through the community. For this reason, food parcels have been provided to nearly 100 children each month, since the beginning of the lockdown.

“Our aftercare projects were providing children with a meal daily during the school term, so we decided that since during lockdown there is no school we should continue providing meals to the children as they are vulnerable now being at home. We have provided all our 91 children with food parcels worth R250 each for the month of May, June and July,” said Menzi.

In addition to supporting young children, the organisation also engaged with community members at the beginning of the lockdown to provide the necessary information on what Covid-19 is and how to prevent transmission from one person to another. During this session, hygiene and sanitation packs were provided to the elderly. 

The NGO plays an active role through the community hubs during the busy month-end weeks when social grants are paid. They have teams stationed at busy shops and the bank in Noupoort, to make sure that community members are practising social distancing while queueing, as well as sanitising hands at the entrances of the shops. 

The NGO is hoping to further support the community in the coming months, particularly to look after the elderly people who are neglected or live alone. 

Menzi added that they hope to further assist the elderly with shopping as well as cleaning their homes, which will help to prevent exposure and risk of infection during the pandemic.

“As a community NGO, INS plays a critical role in Noupoort especially during these unprecedented times. We are proud to support them and value the work that they are doing especially with regards to supporting the elderly and bridging the gap with vulnerable children,” said Sandisiwe Mntoninshi, economic development manager for Noupoort Wind Farm. 

Noupoort Inclusive Neighbourhood Spaces (INS) team members (from left): Magdelene Rowan, Rezona McKenzie, Nevillette Esau and Ronelda Bezuidenhout.