Church Leaders add their weight to the COVID-19 relief efforts

Easter WeekendPress Briefing (003)  

Churches across KZN pledge R1 million to KZN relief efforts

A broad and inclusive coalition of Churches, Christian Associations, Ecumenical Networks and Ministers’ Fraternals are together seeking to use their extensive footprint across the KwaZulu Natal Province to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic, the related Lockdown and their impact.

In a letter to the State President this weekend, they applaud his decisive leadership: “We particularly affirm your generous and sacrificial example, as well as that of your Cabinet and the Premiers, by pledging a third of your salary to the Solidarity Fund. This is a powerful gesture and a symbolic message. We hereby notify you that as Churches across the KwaZulu Natal province, we are pledging R1 million to the relief emergency in our province,”

“South Africa is in Lockdown until the end of April in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This dramatic and yet critical step is having a very significant impact on the country, especially on the food security of a majority of the country,” says Cardinal Wilfrid Napier, Chairperson of the KwaZulu Natal Church Leaders Group and Chairperson of the KZN Inter Religious Council.

The KZN united Church plan has Emergency Relief as their most immediate focus where they are aiming to roll-out cash vouchers to 1000 vulnerable families in each of the 11 Districts over the next three months through their Church-based fundraising efforts. Other elements of their provincial plan include: communications, education and awareness; pastoral care; advocacy around social and economic vulnerability. All of this is undergirded by an inter-denominal space for prayer and reflections on the life-affirming theology of care in the face of the pandemic.

They have partnered with the South African Council of Churches and Intellimali, a well-established SMS voucher service provider, to develop a solution that sends vouchers via SMS to beneficiaries identified by local community leaders and church networks.

These vouchers can be used at any Shoprite, PicknPay, Usave, Checkers or Boxer store, to purchase food and other essential items. With operational costs funded by a designated grant, and Intellimali supplying the system at cost, this solution is extremely cost effective with 99% of funds getting directly to the beneficiary.

Church leaders invites businesses, organisations and individuals to contribute generously.

The KZN Covid-19: Church Response website has further details. http://www.covid19response.co.za/

“This is the weekend we commemorate the death and celebrate the resurrection of Christ. It is a weekend of lament, hope and new life for all humanity. We are holding in tension the death on the cross and the resurrection from the dead in receiving the new life of Christ. Through Government efforts and support of the Church and the entire community we are confident to create a new, free, abundant and just dispensation for all South Africans” adds Dean Nkosinathi Myaka, Chairperson of KwaZulu Natal Christian Council.

 

 

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