Solidarity Buckets: How You Can Help Assist Those In Need
For many small business owners, the global pandemic has meant their revenue streams have come to a complete stop. For many casual workers in industries like restaurants and entertainment, the lockdown has also meant the inability to go out and earn a living. In an effort to help mitigate the impact of this, the Solidarity Bucket project was launched – we speak to one of the agents, Yolanda Cardoso-Naidoo, a small business owner herself, about how she got involved.
Can you tell us a little bit about the Solidarity Bucket project, how it’s come about?
During the early days of lockdown, in one of our President’s speeches, he spoke about “…saving lives, and preserving livelihoods”. It was at this point that a hospitality bar service company decided to redirect its resources to collating food buckets for those in need, whilst trying to save the jobs of its own employees. They invited other hospitality and travel companies, including myself, to join in and provide our friends, families and clients with a reliable way to help others during these difficult times.
The travel industry has been one of the hardest hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, how has your business/livelihood been impacted?
My business, Ritz Travel Kyalami, has unfortunately literally come to a standstill since March 2020. It’s been a very challenging and sad time for myself as a business owner and for all other tourism-related businesses out there. Many clients did opt to rebook their holidays to 2021, however, there were a few that cancelled their holidays entirely.
When our borders open, business should start picking up again, even though the demand will be slow initially. I miss making people’s dreams come true and providing tailor-made packages for my clients. I wanted to do something positive with my time, hence why I decided to get onboard with Solidarity Buckets to make a difference in the lives of those less fortunate.
How does the Solidarity Bucket project work and can you tell us a little bit about the beneficiaries?
Individuals or companies are able to purchase buckets or donate any monetary value (which will be turned into buckets) through the Solidarity Buckets website (s18A Certificates will be issued).
The initiative is linked to three NPO feeding schemes, buckets purchased and money donated is divided between these initiatives:
Feed-a-Child has been running for 10 years and delivers more than 2 million meals per annum to children and their families.
SAFE (South African Fund 4 Entertainment)
SAFE is helping the hardest hit hourly workers in the entertainment industry who have had no work since March.
FeedSA have supported more than 20 000 people in various communities since the pandemic hit. For bulk orders, Solidarity Buckets will brand the buckets and happily deliver to a charity of their choosing.
How did you get involved in this project?
I was approached by friends who started the Solidarity Bucket Project and asked if I was interested in becoming an agent. As Ritz Travel Kyalami had no new business coming in, I wanted to use my time in a constructive way, hence the decision to come on board with this amazing charity initiative. To be part of this wonderful networking team has been so satisfying and rewarding as everyone’s common goal is to help as many underprivileged people as possible. Ritz Travel Kyalami has already fed over 220 people and I appeal to the public to assist us in feeding more people to please come on board and donate.
What items are included in a Solidarity bucket?
There are 3 different buckets to choose from:
- 25l Bucket
- 7,5kg Maize meal
- 2kg Rice
- 2l Oil
- 1kg Sugar
- 4 tins Beans
- 100 Teabags
- 1kg Samp
- 2 bars Soap
This is the ESSENTIAL bucket plus it includes 4 cloth face masks.
This is the ESSENTIAL bucket plus it includes 4 cloth face masks, 1L Sanitizer and 4 bars of soap
Why is this cause important to you?
Watching the devastating impact of COVID, I couldn’t just sit back and do nothing. It is an absolute privilege to be able to improve the lives of others, it is a sense of obligation for me and the positive change, no matter how small, is empowering. It is extremely important to assist those less fortunate than ourselves and to make a difference during this challenging time. Ritz Travel Kyalami donated 30 x food buckets to Feed a Child in May and it was the best feeling helping this fantastic feeding scheme.
How will the project carry on as the lockdown levels lift?
Unfortunately, unemployment has sky-rocketed and people are desperate – hunger will not disappear along with the lifting of alert levels, so the need will still be there. Hopefully, the lifting of alert levels will mean that more budgets will be opened up to helping those in need and that the project will continue long after COVID-19.
How can members of the public get involved in this and help make a difference?
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