Jul 08 , 2020
Mothers in Need: an answer to the question, “How do pregnant refugees feed themselves during COVID-19?”
Who would have thought it would take a global pandemic for South Africans to realise the depth of our generosity? The outpouring of support, food parcels and masks has been heart-warming in a time when little else seems to be. And yet there are still those on the margins of society who are struggling.
COVID-19 relief programme
Mothers in Need is a COVID-19 relief programme set up to target one of these margins: refugee mothers. When Joshua Cox, CEO of social enterprise Fix Forward, heard that a 7 month pregnant woman who hadn’t eaten in 4 days had been turned away from a food parcel collection point, he decided something had to be done. Thousands of pregnant women and mothers of new-borns don’t qualify for any support from the state because they are undocumented immigrants. This is a desperate time when they, and those around them, have no possibility to earn an income.
“At Fix Forward, we’ve continued to support our contractors where we can during lockdown,” explains Josh. “We provide online coaching, advice and leads to keep their businesses ticking over. But hearing about this woman compelled me to do more to reach the most vulnerable: undocumented pregnant women and mothers of new-borns.”
Mothers in Need
Mothers in Need is an interim relief programme to provide support to these women. Fix Forward have partnered with The Zoe Project who will help identify suitable women to benefit from this relief. For the last 19 years they have been assisting pregnant women and new mothers with antenatal and mother and baby courses, counselling and birth support.
“Many of us are giving to multiple programmes already. For those of us who can, we need to dig deeper. We can all do more. We must do more,” says Josh. Mothers in Need is appealing to individuals to donate R400 a month for 6 months. This will feed one mother and her newborn child. Josh is reaching out to corporates for the cost of nappies and to feed more women - Shoprite/Checkers has already committed to supporting the cause. 100% of funds donated will go directly to the women - Fix Forward is covering all admin costs and has donated the first R120 000 to support the first 50 women.
What do the women get?
- Each woman will receive a R400 grocery shopping voucher each month for a period of 6 months.
- They will also continue to access ongoing support from The Zoe Project, both during and after the 6 month period is up.
What are we asking from the public?
- Make a once-off contribution towards this programme
- Or commit to a 6-month debit order to support one woman and child - R400/month, or whatever you can afford
- Spread the word!
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