Our homeless are in desperate need of urgent help during the national lockdown. Completely unable to eke out a living, they are now more vulnerable than ever. If we, as a nation, don’t act soon, there will be death and disaster that rivals the carnage being caused by the coronavirus.
For seven days now SDI Force has done an incredible job, harnessing the power of its uberised platforms to assist government by delivering food and hygiene products in a Covid-compliant manner. Operating off an existing logistics framework created for Supplier Development Initiatives (SDI), SDI Force functions as a non-profit, emergency relief programme during this national crisis. But the fund set up to finance this is running low, and without additional funding, these efforts can’t continue for much longer. What’s needed now is an urgent injection of cash from across South Africa, and in particular from the corporate environment. Businesses big and small need to come to the party and donate generously on the Unity Values website: https://www.unityvalues.com/sdi.
On a national level, there is a large amount of money being pumped into other Covid-19-related funds, and whilst this shows how big South African hearts are, it is taking far too long for this cash to be released and used in emergency efforts. Donations to the SDI Force fund, however, are released immediately to aid operational costs and, most importantly, buy food packs for these starving citizens. What goes in tonight is used tomorrow morning to help save lives. Every cent has an immediate, life-changing effect.
Johannesburg has 15 000 homeless who are in need of urgent attention. These people are scared, hungry and desperate, and this uncertainty has created a powder keg that could soon be out of control. The situation is critical, but we can still make a difference. Initially SDI Force looked at delivering R1000 food packs to help families over a length of time, but now the focus has shifted to creating smaller three-day relief packs. “If we can raise the funds to deliver these then we can keep the wolf from the door,” explains Andile Ramaphosa, SDI Force Co-Founder. “But time is running out and the situation is starting to look worrying. We can’t appeal loudly enough: we need help.”
“We are fortunate to have a tried-and-tested, world-class operating system in place,” says Brad Fisher, ADreach Managing Director and SDI Co-Founder. “As such, we have quickly turned SDI into an effective tool to help with relief efforts. But there is only so much we can do without further funding. “Both Ramaphosa and Fisher have committed their time for free, and whilst the primary focus is on providing food and sanitation, if more money is raised, then the plan is to re-train SDI micro-suppliers, like waste-pickers and Sweep South cleaners, and give them the skills to be deployed as sanitising personnel. Part of this extra funding will also be channelled into homeless shelters, protective gear and warm wear to keep out the cold.
Because of SDI Force’s national footprint, it is in a unique position to roll these efforts out across the country, and talks are already underway with the authorities to investigate ways for the initiative to provide real support to operations throughout South Africa. Every delivery is done according to very strict safety criteria, fully compliant with all measures and restrictions imposed during the national lockdown.
Time is running out. We all need to act, and we need to act now. The on-the-ground situation is critical, but SDI Force has the expertise and experience to make a difference and save lives. This is what they do best. As South Africans, we cannot stand by and watch as our fellow citizens die of starvation. If there’s one thing that this awful virus has taught us, it’s that we are connected on so many levels, and that an injury to one is an injury to all. So please, donate urgently, and help the homeless.
To contribute to Emergency Relief Items such as food packs, Covid-19 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), shelter, sleeping bags or apparel, please make a donation through https://www.unityvalues.com/sdi
For corporates to support equipment provision or repurposing of existing equipment to be Covid-compliant for micro-suppliers to do their work, please contact Laura on 083 468 3867.