ABOUT 100 residents of New Rest, one of the poorest areas in Ndlambe, were filled with emotion as they received stoves and food parcels through a charitable outreach programme by River Ministries last Friday.
After consulting the municipality about the areas of greatest need in Ndlambe, River Ministries targeted the New Rest area, doing a door-to-door visit in an attempt to find out what the residents were in need of.
The handover took place at Jauka Hall. Each resident in attendance was asked to check for a coupon that was hidden under their chairs and they received what was stated on the coupon, be it a stove or a food parcel or both.
The stoves are wood and coal-operated.
RIVER GROUP REACHING OUT: New Rest residents in Port Alfred benefited from a charitable outreach programme by River Ministries. From left are Paul Sikundla, Vivian Wild, Pastor Lucy Van Volkenburg, and Pastor Dale Van Volkenburg, all of River Ministries, beneficiary Nompiliso Ntlokwana and mayor Sipho Tandani Picture: SIPHELELE NDZAMELA
Nompiliso Ntlokwana, one the recipients, said she was very happy about the donations she received on the day.
“We no longer have to waste money on paraffin, you can cook your meal with just three pieces of wood,” said another resident, Nozizwe Vellem.
Nosipho Bob said: “River Ministries has reminded me that God is alive and I am really thankful for that.
“I can now cook my meals without worrying, all I need to do is to just make fire then take the coal and place it inside the stove.”
Paul Sikundla, River Ministries’ head of social community and outreach, said some necessities are taken for granted.
He said it was River Ministries’ goal to reach out to every poor community in and around the Port Alfred area.
“I would like to extend my gratitude to the mayor who has given resources that can be utilised, for ensuring that all areas around Ndlambe municipality benefit from this initiative,” said Sikundla.
He said recognition of needs and building a solid relationship between Ndlambe municipality and River Ministries is a priority.
“I appreciate the initiative by River Ministries,” said mayor Sipho Tandani. “This will go a long way into alleviating poverty, where Ndlambe and RGM will put their resources together.”
He said Ndlambe municipality will also be working on a free basic services programme which aims to donate about 5 000 stoves to the areas that have no source of electricity.
These stoves are gel operated, which means there will be no consumption of electricity, said Tandani.
Residents will be able to purchase the gel from shops. The gel stoves are environmentally friendly, safe and each lighter can last up to eight hours.
“As a municipality we aware that the majority is unemployed and dependent on social grants,” said Tandani.
The high percentage of dropouts in schools, a lack of sports and other facilities are other areas which the municipality hopes to address through partnership with organisations like River Ministries.
Sikundla said on September 24-28 a high profile delegation will be visiting from Mexico on a mission to assist the needy in South Africa. A forum will be established through this initiative which will also include all local NGOs.
The delegation will be visiting poor communities in Port Alfred where they will spread the word of God, he said.