JUNE 21, 2020
What crazy times we are currently living in! The COVID-19 pandemic has touched everyone’s lives in some way and no-one is sure when “normality” will return. We can guarantee that whenever that is, it will be a normal like nothing we have ever seen before.
As South Africans we went into total lockdown on 26th March 2020. No-one, except essential services were allowed to leave their homes. This has basically continued on varying levels since 1st June 2020. Many people have lost their jobs and families have been affected on so many levels. As an essential service we have continued our work, visiting hospitals and where possible doing home visits – permits to travel in hand. Our families, who already experience a high level of stress given their childrens’ diagnoses, are even more stressed. Do they bring their child to the hospital for their appointment? Will they get COVID-19 if they travel? What would a COVID-19 diagnosis mean on top of the existing condition? Do we let someone from the home go and buy food? Can we afford food?
Umduduzi – Hospice Care for Children’s services have warped slightly in this time becoming more of an advice station and a food supplier. Many of our families no longer have any form of income as they were not permitted to continue their specific line of work during lockdown. Some still have been unable to earn a living despite some of the restrictions being lifted because what they do for a living is still banned. Families are desperate and we have stepped in where possible to assist with food vouchers and food parcels. Unfortunately, these only meet the need for a short time and we ourselves have limited resources because of COVID-19.
As a donor-funded organisation we rely on fundraising initiatives to raise money. With the onset of lockdown all of our planned events were cancelled and it is unlikely that the rules will change before year-end to allow us a chance to raise much-needed funds.
The world has changed forever but the need for palliative care remains. Thank you to everyone that has enabled us to do out work – to provide comfort and care to children with life-limiting and life-threatening illnesses – something that has become even more imperative in the time of COVID-19. Tracey Brand, Global Giving Report June 2020