An established NPO that helps indigent patients suffering with chronic kidney disease might have to shut down if they don’t get urgent assistance.
The Cape Kidney Association’s work spans over 45 years, since it was established in 1978.
Services rendered to indigent patients include monthly food parcels; an annual bursary fund for patients; transport and travel costs to assist patients to get to the hospital for their dialysis; start-up costs for small business due to unemployment; and accommodation for patients.
The Covid-19 pandemic had made it difficult for staff to continue the much needed services at the various provincial hospitals in and around the Western Cape – these services were previously funded by fundraising events and sponsors.
Molly Fabe, the associations’s executive fund manager, who’s been with the association for 23 years, said most of their funding came from events but since the pandemic it had been difficult to host any. This meant that most staff had to be retrenched and almost all of the services to indigent patients across the province had to be halted. “We’ve always been able to sustain ourselves through fundraising which is our main source of income and also to raise awareness but Covid hit us hard and things started falling apart.
“It’s very difficult to pick up again and we closed our office and at the end of July we had to let go of staff and there were no funds to pay me as well but I’ve been desperately trying to secure funding because we literally have no funds at all,” said Ms Fabe. She said the association was fortunate enough to give patients a R300 shopping voucher in December last year thanks to funder, Theo Steenkamp, 69, who raised funds when he ran the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon last year but these were the only funds they’ve been able to give patients.
Mr Steenkamp had been running marathons to raise funds for the association since 2017 because one of his running club members, who had been diagnosed with kidney problems as a result of malaria, had initiated the fundraising.
“We decided to run for the organisation and I’ve been doing it since then so I’e run six Sanlam Cape Town Marathons and three Two Oceans Ultra marathons, raised a total of R220 000 and I will continue to do so until I can.”
He encouraged other runners to support the Cape Kidney Association: “If we have more runners who can run for the association we will hopefully be able to help them. To the public, I encourage you to please donate a small amount per month to provide some income for the association.”
Aletta Stubb, director of the Cape Kidney Association, made an urgent plea to businesses and individuals to help them recover.
“The patient support we provide is not only for the renal patient but for the entire family because the entire family is affected. The number of patients with kidney failure is rapidly increasing and we want to continue helping them but we can only do so with the help of the broader community,” said Ms Stubb.
Ms Fabe also encouraged individuals or businesses to assist with their time and volunteer to assist the association as all of their staff were retrenched.
“We would love to organise events to try and help us raise funds again but we simply don’t have the manpower. Anyone who’s willing to help by giving their time would be highly appreciated”.
Ms Fabe said the executive have had to make tough decisions about the possible closure of the NPO but their obligation to patients have kept the doors open: “We have to find ways to continue helping those in need with kidney disease because we are the only organisation in the Western Cape doing what we are doing and it’s very sad that so many patients are being affected because we are not able to assist those who depend on us.”
For more information about the Cape Kidney Association or to donate or volunteer contact Molly Fabe on 021 7611326, 083 265 7490 or email firstname.lastname@example.org