By: Anele Gcwabe
Sometimes, people just need help. Sometimes, these people encounter people who are willing to help, and the world is a better place for the person who needed help- at least for a few seconds. There are rare occasions, where we encounter people who actively go out in search for people who need help, just so they can lend a helping hand. Some people’s souls are fed when they lend a helping hand. 2019 Activator, Mojabeng Senekal-Ndebele- it seems- is one of those rare souls.
When this 26 year old- who has made it her mission to help the community of Wattville, Gauteng- and a few of her friends realised that a number of families and other groups in this community, sometimes struggled to obtain certain goods that would provide for their basic needs, they made it their mission to help where it was needed. They’ve gone as far as creating partnerships with local organisations of Wattville like The Phatsima Wattville Youth Forum and the Nontsikelelo Drop- in Centre. They have been getting assistance from a number of sponsors and they hope to create long and lasting relationships with them.
“It is not all the time but in those times when the need arises we are there to lend a helping hand”, explains Senekal-Ndebele. This initiative, Lending a helping hand, does not focus on simply giving people the free goods that they need to fulfill their basic needs. They know that it is important to also make sure that these families and community members will be able to find a way to sustain themselves in the long run. As a result of this realisation, Lending a helping hand also pairs all their donation drives with hackathons for the target groups. They focus on entrepreneurship development, health education and environmental sustainability.
“In this project, the mantra is ‘we help where help is needed in the community’. For example, when a group of young girls need a supply of sanitary towels in a school in Wattville, we collect the sanitary towels from donors using our social media platforms, word of mouth and collaborations. Then we donate these to the young girls. During the festive season we collect food, make food packages and then donate them to families who need them in the community. During back-to-school, we donate uniforms to children who cannot afford them in our community,” explains Senekal-Ndebele.
Since she has a large social media following, Senekal-Ndebele’s role in the project is to collect as many donations as possible “my large followership has aided our work quiet greatly”, she adds. Her other role is to run the project’s social media pages, write proposals to sponsors and to always ensure that the paperwork of the organization is always up to date.
Their biggest achievement thus far is their “Pad drive”. On the 16th August 2019 they handed over 550 packs of sanitary towels to young girls at Etwatwa Secondary School in Wattville. In 2020, they hope to collect and donate 10 000 packs of sanitary towels. Activators and other people are welcomed to assist in this initiative, you can follow the Facebook page: Mojabeng Dorcas Senekal, to assist.