Two women – both over 65 – chose to remain in Addo to brave the virus and the vulnerable communities.
Eastern Cape, South Africa (6 May 2020) – Since the beginning of the lockdown, the poverty-stricken communities have suffered more than ever before. Marist Mercy Care’s The Place of Mercy and Hope (PBO and NPO) located in a rural town in Addo, Eastern Cape, South Africa took the initiative to provide food parcels and essentials to the surrounding formal and informal settlements.
As of today, over one-thousand parcels have been distributed to the vulnerable of which can feed a family of four for five days, that means they have provided forty-two thousand (42 000) meals.
At the heart of our project are two very special ladies, both over the age of 65, who have worked in these impoverished communities for fourteen years. They brave the virus wearing correct attire and go out to distribute the essential items with the help of the South African Police Department, ensuring social distancing is maintained at all times.
Sr Breda Ryan and Sr Martha O’Connor (both from Ireland) chose to remain in South Africa during the lockdown to continue their mission helping the poor and vulnerable.
In just over fourteen years, these phenomenal women have done the impossible in this dusty dry rural area. They have established Early Childhood Development Centres for vulnerable children, provided guidance to primary and high schools in the Valley, built and provided computer literacy programs, established a health clinic, mobilised a group of home-based carers to care for the extremely sick in the communities, provide food to hundreds of people weekly.
“Sr Breda and Martha have accomplished what many may think is impossible educating and providing support to thousands of poor children and adults. However, all that has been placed on hold and focus is ensuring death by starvation does not exceed death by COVID-19.
Our Organisation has the largest footprint in the Sundays River Valley, reaching over six formal and informal settlements helping the thousands of poor that have been forgotten.” – Jason Grieve, a Director at Place of Mercy and Hope.
Watch the video below or visit their website for more information.