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A Cry for Help to Keep Children Warm this Winter

Help Keep Children Warm

By Fehraad De Nicker

6th July, 2016 – Community Chest, a non-profit organisation that identifies and supports community welfare initiatives, is calling for support and donations from businesses and individuals to help raise funds to provide over 2,000 pre-schoolers with much needed rain coats and wellington boots to help prevent high rates of absenteeism from school during winter.

“Winter is the year’s harshest season and thousands of children from Cape Town’s disadvantaged communities don’t attend school because of a lack of basic necessities to keep them dry, warm and fed for the severe winter months,” says Community Chest of the Western Cape CEO Lorenzo Davids.

“The primary objective of the Winter Readiness campaign is to inspire individuals and businesses to take action to help alleviate the situation of its most vulnerable citizens during the severe winter months.”

Davids says that Community Chest wants to engage with individuals and businesses to encourage them to contribute in the form of purchasing children’s winter survival kits comprising drimacs/raincoats and wellington boots for a cost of R350 per kit.

“Our goal is to raise R750,000 so that children from areas such as the Cape Flats that are prone to flooding have water proof clothing to ensure their attendance at pre school this winter,” he explains.

“At Community Chest we encourage the early education of children and are encouraged to see the rise in the number of children accessing early Childhood Development (ECD) programmes such as formal and informal crèches, as well as sports and playgroups that provide holiday programmes and stimulate development. However, we remain concerned with the high absenteeism in winter due to lack of appropriate clothing.”

He continues: “One of our major focus areas is early childhood development and our research and feedback from social development representatives is that keeping children dry in winter is a big challenge in the Western Cape and a big reason for the high absenteeism figures in the region over the winter months.”

In disadvantaged communities, attendance at pre-school is key as most parents work and need their children to be taken care of while they are at work. “Sometimes parents have no choice but to send their kids to school even when they are sick so it is of utmost importance that they are warm and dry,” Davids adds.

At 87 years old, Community Chest of the Western Cape exists to help enable communities in the quest to alleviate poverty and to foster and develop a spirit of philanthropy by motivating and creating opportunities for giving.

Those wishing to donate can do so by depositing into the Community Chest FNB bank account - number 502 6097 4842 (branch code 201409) and use winterreadiness as the reference when depositing.

People are also encouraged to drop off wellies and raincoats and warm clothing at the Community Chest offices at 82 Bree Street in the Cape Town CBD.

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