Dear Friends of Golden Sunbeams
It has been four long months since lockdown began, in which we could not go about our normal work in the townships. Many of our friends, supporter and sponsors have asked how we are doing in South Africa, due to the German media’s reportage that does not always reflect the reality here.
Here in the Western Cape, the number of Covid infections showed the greatest increase at the beginning of the pandemic. Thus, the number of deaths was also the highest here. The number of infections in the Western Cape is currently decreasing. However, the virus is now spreading rapidly in the other densely populated provinces such as Gauteng (Johannesburg), the Eastern Cape (Port Elizabeth) and KwaZulu-Natal (Durban).
570,000 people have currently tested positive for the virus, of which 430,000 have already recovered with a South African death toll of 11,000. This means that the number of infections is still very high and the country ranks fifth worldwide. Fortunately, the number of deaths is very low and, to date, not much higher than in Germany. Of course, we are very, very relieved about that.(Statistics follows…)
Current Covid statistics from August 12, 2020
There is still a ban on the sale of alcohol and cigarettes. In addition to this, there is no international tourism. The economic outlook is bleak and unemployment is rising as a result. Very few people receive government support. Due to the pronounced corruption, the financial and material support services, such as food parcels, do not reach the needy. The result is HUNGER! Hunger is still the biggest problem and the flow of people to the soup kitchens is immense.
Even if many of our kindergartens are open again, the number of children who are going back to school is very low. On the one hand, parents are afraid that their children may contract the virus and, on the other hand, they lack the money to pay school fees due to unemployment. Our principals have reopened their ECD’s under costly and labour intensive hygiene regulations. However, due to the low school attendance figures, more than 50% of the schools’ income is lacking. It is a vicious, sad circle that is difficult to break.
Happy children before the Covid pandemic – without masks, without having to keep their distance and with warm meals.
Hungry children during the Covid pandemic – with masks, having to keep a distance and standing in long queues for a warm meal.
Ensuring healthy nutrition has been a high priority since our association was founded. In July 2020, we ordered thousands of plant seedlings. In South Africa, August is almost spring-time, as the first almond trees are beginning to bloom and fresh young shoots appear on the trees. For us, this is the time for the vegetable and lettuce plants as they are already big enough in August for us to deliver them to the kindergartens that maintain vegetable gardens.
Thank you very much to Vicky and Mike Roper. The founders of the CHEAFRIKA Foundation (www.cheafrica.net) financed the entire cost of the vegetable and lettuce seedlings this season.
A big Thank You also goes to our many sponsors, friends and acquaintances who support us so well during this difficult time with their donations.
We would also like to warmly thank our partner organisations Masikhule
(www.masikhule.org) and Masincedane (www.masincedane.com), as well as our
principals, who distribute warm meals in their soup kitchens and who supply their communities with food parcels and food vouchers.
We would greatly appreciate donations or appeals for donations on Facebook to support our kindergartens in the townships.
Our donations account is:
Golden Sunbeams e.V.
Standard Bank of South Africa
Account number: 1011 2371 777
Swift code: SBZAZAJJ
Thank you for every form of support. Greetings from South Africa and please stay healthy!
Britta und Bernd