Goedgedacht Trust, a farm-based community support organisation in the Swartland region of the Western Cape, has expanded its virus-related emergency feeding scheme. It has done this by transforming its facilities to serve as quarantine quarters and self-isolation units.
"The pandemic moves us between grief and solidarity, an awareness of global human connections and local suffering, and shows our economic system as one that generates but deeply divides and excludes," says Deon Snyman, managing director of the Goedgedacht Trust. "The Trust is aware of its enormous responsibility of bringing hope and support to people in despair."
With its latest initiative, the Goedgedacht Trust has established quarantine facilities in an attempt to alleviate pressure on the local Swartland Hospital. According to the Trust, homes of affected families are too small or limited to allow for self-isolation to protect family members, so steps have been taken, in partnership with the Western Cape Department of Health, to ensure that the Goedgedacht Farm complies with all the regulatory requirements of quarantine.
The self-isolation facilities opened on the farm from Monday, 25 May, to members of the community who have been tested positive for COVID-19.
The Cape Dutch farm that is home to the Trust, and the quarantine facilities, offers a combined capacity of 34 beds, in separate quarters for men and women. The facilities have been refurbished to include leisure spaces, both indoors and outdoors, where guests have access to television, books and games. Guests are provided with fresh linen and amenities on arrival and protocols have been put in place to secure contactless meal delivery and weekly laundry services.
Six self-isolation units have also been made available for first responders, medical professionals and Goedgedacht staff.
Wi-Fi and telephones are accessible to ensure guests are able to connect with Social Sevices and their loved ones for support. A resident doctor and a registered nurse will ensure that guests are monitored regularly and anyone displaying serious symptoms is referred back to the Swartland Hospital. All staff and guests are screened regularly for elevated temperatures and other symptoms.
The Goedgedacht Trust was initiated to assist the transformation of disadvantaged rural communities in the West Coast region of the Western Cape. It is managed by a board of trustees and has since adapted its support, aiming to help as many families as possible to implement strategies that will bring relief to those most in need.
Its flagship strategy is the Path Onto Prosperity (POP) Program, which caters to the needs of children at different stages of their lives, starting with the first 1 000 days until adulthood.
Now, with the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown, the Trust continues to strive and sustain Swartland communities.
As an immediate strategy, the Trust launched an emergency feeding scheme, providing daily meals to approximately 1 000 vulnerable families across its six POP Centres in the communities of Riebeek West, Riebeek Kasteel, Chatsworth, Riverlands, Koringberg and Porterville. A total of 141 404 meals have been served since Tuesday, 14 April. These POP centres have also been made available as COVID-19 testing and tracking stations.
Through its trading company, Goedgedacht Trading, the Trust produces an immunity-boosting drink to be distributed at the various POP centres.
Other initiatives include giving locals the means to feed themselves, by donating vegetable seeds to village gardeners via the Care for the Planet team. The aim of this initiative is to encourage gardeners to secure food supply for themselves and to support their neighbours with fresh produce.
To make all of this happen, the Goedgedacht Trust covers the costs of a variety of items; for example, food, transportation, gas and electricity costs, sanitising products and other related expenses. The Trust says donations are a valuable contribution in supporting rural families during this pandemic.
Individuals who would like to make a donation can contact Loretta Williams on 074 267 2469 or [email protected]
For more information, visit www.goedgedacht.org. You can also follow the Goedgedacht Trust on Facebook, Twitter or on Instagram.