The COVID-19 crisis: How NFB is making a difference

“Giving is not just about making a donation. It’s about making a difference” ~ Kathy Calvin.

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NFB Private Wealth Management

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The COVID-19 crisis: How NFB is making a difference

NFB’s roots are deeply entrenched in the Eastern Cape where we’ve always been committed to supporting the communities in which we live and work. The humanitarian crisis facing the province is of epic proportion. As one of South Africa’s poorest regions it has among the highest unemployment rates in the country and hunger is extreme at the best of times; it’s estimated that approximately 1 million individuals don’t know where their next meal is coming from. The province’s current food budget allocation falls woefully short of what’s required; it’s estimated that a mere 12.6% of these 1 million people will receive a food parcel (that won’t even last them the month). It’s for these reasons that we have focused our funding efforts on the Eastern Cape.

How much have we raised?

Our leadership team has established the NVest Covid-19 Disaster Relief Fund as our response to the pandemic. Through the generosity of the companies in the NVest  Financial Holdings stable (NFB Private Wealth Management, NFB Asset Management, NVest Securities, NFB Insurance Brokers and Independent Executor and Trust) we have raised R321,000. On top of this, individual contributions of R190,900 have been made by our employees by way of a voluntary salary/fee reduction or donation. In total we have raised R511,900! We are really proud of how our group of companies and its individuals have altruistically rallied around our Eastern Cape community.

Who are we funding?

In our attempt to reach the most vulnerable in society, we are supporting six worthy NGOs:  African Angels, Small Projects Foundation, The Loaves and Fishes Network, St Bernard’s Hospice and Meals on Wheels in the rural Eastern Cape / East London area and Love Story based in Port Elizabeth.

These NGOs work tirelessly to uplift some of the country’s poorest and most underserved communities, and we are pleased to be associated with them and to support them in their valuable efforts to cater to those most in need.

What have we funded?

Our contribution has predominantly taken the form of food packs: in total we have donated 859 food packs, and 275 kg bags of food powder. This will have provided almost 400,000 meals over the 6-8 week period we believe to have been the most severe crisis period. We have also given 15,000 seedlings alongside the food packs to promote ongoing sustenance, sustainable food security and a culture of self-reliance. Face masks are a crucial tool in our arsenal to fight the spread of infection; we have given 1,745 to those in informal settlements that live in very close proximity to others (and have been unable to effectively social distance). We have also donated nearly 500 gigabytes of WhatsApp data to African Angels School as a means of supporting their distance learning initiatives (whereby students are instructed via WhatsApp as video conferencing is unaffordable).

Not yet following NFB Private Wealth Management on Facebook? Click here to see some photos of our team working closely with our CSR partners in East London. They have done some amazing work in contributing to the lives of those most in need during this time. 

Background to the Individual NGO's

1. African Angels & Chintsa Covid-19 Food Relief Scheme

African Angels Independent School offers high quality education (6-13 years) to some of the most disadvantaged children in the Chintsa East and Glen Eden townships, at a very low cost to parents / carers. They also offer a Community Learning Centre available to 5,000 people in the local communities which focuses on learning, job seeking and applications, skills development and recreation using the internet for children, youth and adults.

Specific COVID-19 reaction

Feeding: The school has joined forces with the Chintsa COVID-19 Community Response team to gather donations for, and the distribution of, food parcels to the most vulnerable families in the community.

Teachers provide learners with books and stationery at a central collection point and send homework requirements via WhatsApp (parents/carers cannot afford the data required to stream video classes). Learners send a photograph of their completed work to teachers who mark and return results also via WhatsApp.

To learn more about African Angles visit their website. To keep up to date with their courageous efforts following them on their Facebook page

local males and females assisting local NGO's with food distribution

2. The Loaves and Fishes Network 

The Loaves & Fishes Network mission is to engage in community development by providing holistic childcare training and development, and appropriate facilities, whilst mobilising and supporting parent and community participation in the caring, nurturing and wellbeing of children in the Eastern Cape.

Specific COVID-19 reaction

The organisation is distributing food parcels to vulnerable families in the area as part of their Covid-19 relief response.

Visit their website to learn more about their heroic efforts. stay up to date with all their amazing efforts by following them on Facebook.

local South African citizens participating in food parcel distribution during the Covid-19 crisis

3. Small Projects Foundation (SPF) Kidds Beach Residents and Taxpayers Association (Ncera Project)  

SPF supports thousands of poor and disadvantaged households with the aim of improving quality of life from a physical, social and economic perspective. They have partnered with the Kidds Beach Resident’s and Taxpayer’s Association to provide specific relief to the nine rural villages of Ncera on the outskirts of East London.

Specific COVID-19 reaction:

SPF has started screening and testing for COVID-19 and sourcing donations to distribute to the neediest of households to ensure no one, especially children, suffers from hunger or malnutrition at this time. The Ncera project involves providing relief to those that have “fallen through the cracks”, in other words, those that don’t receive UIF, government grants, wages or food support.

To learn more about SPF visit their website.

local South African citizens participating in food parcel distribution during the Covid-19 crisis

4. Love Story 

Love Story is a relief organisation in Port Elizabeth that seeks to meet the needs of the poor and marginalised. It aims to restore hope through feeding schemes, education programmes, clothing distribution and poverty alleviation.

Specific COVID-19 reaction

The organisation is distributing the many donations of masks and instant protein meal powder received from the public to those in need. They also supply food kitchens around PE who then hand out food packs.

Learn more about Love Story by visiting their website. Follow them on Facebook to get updated on their worthwhile initiatives.

local South African citizens participating in food parcel distribution during the Covid-19 crisis

5. Meals on Wheels

Meals on Wheels provides 31 million meals per annum (120,000 meals per day) from 187 branches and 1700 service points throughout South Africa. They have 280 vehicles, and 1440+ voluntary helpers. They also run two old age homes and six retirement villages.

In towns and cities their branches usually comprise well established kitchens. In rural areas and squatter settlements, they use fully fitted “container kitchens.” Their goal is to increase meals provided from 31 million to 62 million meals per annum within the next year. 

Specific COVID-19 reaction

Donations are used to buy food packs for their existing beneficiaries which includes the elderly, old age homes residents, orphanages, and homeless shelters as well as child-headed households and those that support extended family.

To get involved with Meals on Wheels visit their website or make contact with them on Facebook.

6. St Bernard's Hospice  

St Bernard’s Hospice provides specialised home-based palliative care and support. On average, they work with 250 patients (adults and children) diagnosed with a life-threatening or life-limiting illness. The majority of their patients live in informal settlements surrounding East London and the households often rely entirely on government grants for survival.

The hospice generates 16% of its total income through its charity shop, which was forced to close on 25 March. They have also had to cancel three fundraisers that were due to be held later this year from which they expected to raise a total of R120,000.

Specific COVID-19 reaction

During lockdown the hospice’s four professional nurses have remained active, providing home-based palliative care services to their most critical terminal patients. Although they focus primarily on the health of a patient, they are also aware of the challenges faced by the rest of the household and have been helping with additional food support where possible. Staff also provide telephonic psychosocial support and bereavement counselling to patients’ family members in line with social distancing requirements.

Visit their website to learn more about the amazing work they do or follow them on Facebook to get regular updates. 

We all stand together

It’s staggering to think that an estimated 50% of our population is in need of food and that government support is insufficient to meet this. There are so many charities and NGOs doing admirable work to fill this gap and we applaud the selfless ways in which they improve so many lives. Although only a drop in the ocean compared to what’s needed, NFB Private Wealth Management is proud to be able to do a little bit to help ease the hunger pangs of those in our most vulnerable communities. Now, more than ever, is the time to stand together as a nation to overcome one of the biggest challenges in our history.

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