More than 50% of South Africans live in poverty, according to Stats SA. That’s more than 30,4-million people – and Serame Mpato wants to do something about it.
That’s why he co-founded the Give To The Needy organisation, which aims to distribute clothes, sanitary pads and school material to disadvantaged people in Ikageng in the North West.
Give To The Needy was founded in June and has so far assisted about 10 people. Mpato, who works at a retail store, started the organisation after he heard a shack burnt down in Ikageng, and the victims lost everything. He started by donating clothes he owned and of those of family members. When he realised that more people in the community needed assistance, he and his cousin Vusi Noruka established Give To The Needy.
So far the two have collected over 20 bags of clothes across Ikageng, including from 2018 Miss Africa finalist Pearl Mashila. Mpato aims at extending his donations to food parcels, pads and school necessities like books, pens and crayons.
The organisation aims to keep learners in school by collecting uniforms from graduates who don’t need their old uniforms anymore.
“When I was growing up I saw my peers drop out of school because they could not afford the uniform. That’s a problem I want to address,” Mpato said.
He was thrilled with how the community of Potchefstroom has responded to the organisation’s call for help. He said every week someone donated a bag of clothes.
A recipient of the Give To The Needy donations, Betty Mshiya, from the Baipei informal settlement in Ikageng, said the donation had made the world of difference.
“As a single unemployed parent, life is hard. I want to thank Serame and Vusi for making sure my son has school clothes, and also donating clothes to me,” she said.
An edited version of this story was published by The Star.