Residents of Overcome Heights informal settlement near Seawinds were overjoyed last week when they received disaster-relief aid from NGO, Gift of the Givers.
A fire left about 300 people homeless on Thursday April 7, when 45 shacks burnt to the ground (“Fire destroys lives” Southern Mail, Wednesday April 13).
Many of the Overcome residents were left with little or no possessions and had to rebuild their homes from the material given by Disaster Risk Management and the donations received from organisations in the area.
Gift of the Givers visited the area on Thursday April 21 and gave the affected residents food parcels, groceries, packs of detergents and blankets.
Ashurah Petersen, who lives with her boyfriend and five children, lost all her possessions in the fire.
She was emotional when she received the parcels, saying: “People have come in and helped us so much over this period, and it has helped us so much. We didn’t expect so many people to help us,” she said.
Community worker Fouzia Cassiem said NGOs and people who donated clothes, blankets and other items were contributing to the well-being of Overcome Heights.
“Everyone who has contributed in some way, no matter how small, has truly helped the community of Overcome Heights.
“We appreciate and thank everyone who has donated something to help the residents rebuild their lives,” she said.
She also thanked Where Rainbows Meet (WRM) in Vrygrond for giving food to those who lost their homes.
WRM director Mymoena Scholtz also thanked other organisations for helping the community.
“We work very closely with Overcome Heights, and we have been trying to help where we can, but there’s only so much we can do. Any help from other organisations or peoplewould help tremendously,” said Ms Scholtz.
“We also need the broader business community to also get on board, because sometimes NGOs just don’t have the capacity to help as much as they want to,” she said.