MES Kempton Park staff have been in the front line of serving the Ekurhuleni’s inner city from the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown. The over-night shelter became a stay-in shelter for people who did not have a place to stay. The experience of serving the homeless and vulnerable during this difficult time continues to give the staff faith in the goodness of humanity and the generosity of people who continue to take from what they have to donate to those who do not have.
“While MES Kempton Park has made the call for donation of items to keep the shelter running and people fed, we want our donor community to know that we are keeping them in our prayers during this difficult time. We are very aware that this pandemic has affected everyone, which might result in more people becoming vulnerable when it is all over. As a branch we also want to commend our community and our donors, for being absolutely amazing. You have been committed and walked the round with us, all the way. Our prayers are being answered every day and every minute, because of your generosity and love. As lockdown continues we continue to call for help for those we are looking after. Items like mealie meal, soup, porridge, coffee/ tea, milk, protective gear, toiletries as well as cleaning materials make a huge difference to us and to the care of our beneficiaries.” commented Aloma Swanepoel, Fundraising and Marketing Manager.
The work done by the staff does not get lost on those who are staying at the shelter. They take every chance they get to show their gratitude by taking part in the upkeep of the shelter and even writing letters to the staff. Among the notes written included messages such as the following:
“Unexpectedly we are surviving by the grace of God. We got all the meals, everything.”
“This has been a life changing experience. As we have learnt about keeping ourselves safe and following the rules of the shelter and of the president to keep hygienic.”
Soul Malatji – professional Social Auxiliary Worker who is part of the team that has moved in at the shelter to look after the people, said that although it has been a challenge to deal with clients who are dependent on substances like tobacco, alcohol and even drugs, they’ve learnt how to maintain order and are doing their best to ensure that the virus does not spread.
Luwanda Conco, MES Kempton Park Office Admin and Fundraising and Marketing Assistant who has been worried about Covid-19 related news reports in the media said that says that she almost lost focus. However, the passion which her colleagues have shown is what keeps her going.
“I am amazed at the creativity and commitment of my colleagues; in finding ways to continue serving our communities and changing hearts in these difficult times.”