Knysna victims: AfriForum and Solidarity Helping Hand focus on long-term needs

The civil rights organisation AfriForum, on request of the service organisation Solidarity Helping Hand, today purchased various supplies for victims of the fire afflicted Knysna community, among which gas stoves, gas bottles, pots, pans and serving spoons.

These supplies were purchased from AfriForum’s emergency fund and will be distributed strategically by Helping Hand after a needs assessment process.

“AfriForum feels strongly about the fact that this fund must be used in a sustainable and efficient manner. For that reason we rather decided to purchase everyday goods which the community can use daily – not just now, but also in the long term,” says Guido Urlings, Campaign Officer at AfriForum.

Helping Hand’s assessment team performed needs determinations at churches and schools after the fires.

“Urgent needs have already been addressed, but the community will need support in the long term. Our advice to the public is to donate judiciously. At the moment there is an abundance of food and clothes, so much so that the provincial government asked that donations must in the near future rather focus on the structural rebuilding of Knysna,” says Ernst Vorster, Head of Communication at Helping Hand.

Thomas van Dalen, AfriForum’s Provincial Coordinator for the Western Cape, says that it is the priority of AfriForum and Helping Hand to ensure that donations are sustainable and distributed to those who need it the most.

Members of AfriForum’s trauma unit, led by Nantes Kelder, are currently busy offering counselling to victims in and around Knysna.

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