Where do families in South Africa turn when they have lost their sole income? Where can they go and remain together as a family? Where does a single mother take her children when she has no income and no safe place for them all to stay? Where can they go after losing everything, mostly their dignity and hope?
A compassionate group of people, who could not just sit back and see how families end up on the street, endangering not just themselves but also their children, decided to get their hands dirty (literally) and pour their hearts and souls into a project to rescue the most vulnerable.
Out of compassion, hard work and hope, The South African Family Relief Project (SAFRP), was born. A non-profit organization that brings practical assistance and faith into the lives of destitute families. Over the past 8 years they have helped 189 people rebuild their lives.
The SAFRP seeks to provide help not merely in the short-term but with a vision for each family’s long-term future. It gives them food and a roof over their head, allowing those who can work to search for jobs, knowing their families are safe and taken care of as they get back on their feet.
Unfortunately, the SAFRP is not state funded; it is solely dependent on donations from individuals and companies. After living on the mercy of different landlords, the SAFRP changed gears in 2017 by moving to the outskirts of Pretoria to start The Farm Project, with the aim of helping destitute families to become self-sufficient.
On an open, uninhabited field, they lived in tents while preparing the housing for their struggling families. They have hand-built wooden rooms with fences, a communal bathroom, a vegetable tunnel, now full of vegetables, a pond and cage for their newly acquired geese and chickens and a communal kitchen where they can prepare and enjoy meals together. Every family member has been contributing to the project with daily chores on the farm and, until recently, some have found odd jobs in the city for a small income.
This is a picture of the pre-Covid situation, which has now been shattered. The odd jobs have dried up and the project is now at the point where its leaders and members often don’t know where their next meal is coming from.
To break this cycle and to rejuvenate the project, it has become clear that something needs to be done to create employment opportunities. These opportunities will not only bring an income for the residents but will help restore self-esteem by giving them the chance to work for the benefit of their family and community.
The challenge here, of course, is that it takes capital and assets to generate income. And this is where we are in need of your help and where we invite you to partner with us.
The reason we are publicizing the need for funding is because we believe that there are many of us who would want to make a difference in the lives of these families and restore some of the dignity and hope that they have lost.
By giving just a little of what we have been blessed with, we are not only able to change the lives of this current generation and those around them, but we are also changing the prospects of future generations.
The following projects / pressing requirements need funding in order for SAFRP to move forward and provide a self-sustaining lifestyle for the families they seek to help:
Borehole drilling equipment – GBP1000
One of the current residents is a qualified borehole driller and would be able to generate an income by drilling boreholes for farmers if he gets the correct equipment.
Brick Making Machines – GBP250 each 4 needed Since everyone is currently together on the farm, they have the people and space needed to make bricks. They have looked into purchasing 3 or 4 brick-making machines so that they can start a business producing bricks. This will create an instant income and will also allow them to build extra houses on the Farm Project to help more families and a much needed kitchen. The experience that the residents will gain, together with the income generated by the sales of the bricks, will put them one step closer to permanent employment
Transport/Vehicle – GBP750
Their only means of transport is a pick-up truck which needs servicing and maintenance. They travel 170 km per day to get the children to and from school as there are no buses that that can get them there. The children’s education is of utmost importance so transportation is vital.
Solar Energy – GBP2000
They currently have a basic 3kva solar system with six panels and two working batteries. The power inverter was damaged by a lightning storm and needs to be repaired. They urgently need more batteries in order to run a normal fridge and extra freezer. They are able to run a fridge during the day with the solar energy they generate but on a cloudy day, or at night, the batteries are not sufficient.
Chicken Coop – GBP500
They need to build a new chicken coop to allow them to sell eggs and chickens and keep some for themselves. The existing coop and pond are used for their free-range Peking ducks, for which they already have a customer. With the addition of a chicken coop, they will have chickens, eggs and ducks for their consumption and also for sale.
Vegetable Tunnel – GBP350
There are many vegetable farms around The Farm Project so the vegetables they grow will be for their own consumption. Herbs, from seedlings to bigger plants, are very much in demand and could generate an income.
The Farm Project wants to use one tunnel for a variety of herbs to sell on and to use onsite. They have already started experimenting with making herbal balms for various skin types that can be used with great benefits in the treatment of eczema, rashes and dry skin. Teaching the women how to plant, care and extract the essential oils and nutrients from these plants will help them learn a new skill. Aloe Vera is already growing strong and is being used on stings and burns with much success. The natural balms can be sold as people are increasingly opting for natural ointments for their skin problems.
A Laptop – GBP850
Their phones are old and definitely not the best way to market all their new ideas. In order to do proper marketing of their bricks and herbal ointments etc. a laptop will help with the overall success of it all.
Electricity – GBP1500
They want to get plans drawn up and submitted to the council to apply for electricity. This will be a long and costly process. A pre-paid meter, the electrical cable, the Electrical Inspector’s COC certificate are all costs that are to be added to the application fees. This is one of their more long-term projects as we know this will take months to complete.
Something they have not asked for but we think is of utmost importance:
A Minibus – GBP5000
The children are currently being transported in a pick up truck to school and back. A minibus would be a more suitable vehicle to ensure the children’s safety.
Please forward this to your churches and companies – maybe you can choose 1 item and fundraise for it together. Alternatively, we would be so very grateful for any donations, big or small. Every single pound will make an impact into the total we need to cover these projects. Your investment is not just in these material items but in the hope, dignity and well-being of people seeking to rebuild their lives and the lives of their children.
All the donations made are publicly recognised and are shown on the SAFRP’s Facebook page, unless you wish to remain anonymous.
Should you/your company prefer to pay the service provider yourself directly, please let us know and we can forward you the respective quotation with banking details).
Should you wish to support SAFRP monthly, on an ongoing basis, kindly let us know and we will send you banking details of our suppliers which you can pay directly.
Examples of this will be:
– Gas / petrol
– Medicine / Vitamins
– Animal Feed
– Toiletries incl sanitary wear
– Nappies & Baby Formula