During the hard lockdown in 2020, Active Africa’s Nicole Samsodien and her family became concerned about the increasing number of homeless people living on the streets of Cape Town’s southern suburbs. Using their own resources, they started making sandwiches and hot food to be distributed to homeless and informal communities.
Towards the end of the year, they decided to purchase Christmas gifts for the children and groceries for adults to see them through the holiday season. But the financial burden was heavy, given that some family members were still receiving reduced salaries.
And that’s where Ubuntu stepped up. Active Africa staff, guides and friends rallied their families, friends and friends-of-friends to donate to the cause. On December 18th, a group of 20 people undertook a 26km (16 mile) hike up from the lower cable station on Table Mountain, across the mountain to the Silvermine Reserve. Overall, thanks to the kindness of many friends and family both at home and abroad, we raised $1400 (>R20 000) for the Lansdowne community.
Shortly before Christmas, the Samsodien and Matthews families held a party for the children, where party packs and stationery packs were distributed. The following day, they distributed akhni (a Cape Malay dish similar to biriyani) to 250 people, with funds raised by the Hike for Hunger.
This was followed in January and April 2021, with drops of basic food supplies and pet food. As winter set in and COVID infections peaked again, hot meals were distributed to ever-increasing numbers of people.
As the pandemic dragged on and travel showed very little sign of recovery, we sadly lost Nicole to a more stable industry, but Active Africa still supports her cause and will continue to support programs that mitigate hunger in the city.