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Recently, Sharl Pillay and Nikole Naidoo joined hands to create the non-profit organisation (NPO) Community Cares. An NPO which focuses on poverty alleviation and creating hope within the community.
“The NPO began during the looting period in July, when Sharl came up with the idea to give refreshments and snacks to the patrolling residents. She then roped me into the initiative and here we are today,” explains Nikole.
Sharl highlights that she and Nikole came across families in dire crises, urgently requiring food parcels. “After the unrest, we then started helping and delivering food parcels to those in need.”
However, Nikole emphasises that it is essential to note that food parcels are not just simply delivered. “We first assess the homes, the families needs, their current standing and hold a meeting with each other to establish what can be done.”
Moreover, the food parcels are only possible through donations and sponsorships of local community members, leaders and businesses.
The two women explain that, unlike many other NPOs, they do not simply give food parcels and sanitary items. Instead, they look at ways to encourage their beneficiaries in securing employment and education.
“A hungry mind is not a productive mind. So, we first give them the necessary food parcels, then look at how we can motivate them and find job placements, according to their skills and education,” explains the duo. This, they stress, ensures a sense of dependency is not created.
Having assisted over 100 families throughout the past two months, Nikole and Sharl are now preparing for the festive season, which is fast approaching. Sharl explains, “Christmas is a time where everyone looks forward to spending time with their families, and laughter. But there are children who are not able to enjoy the festive season.”
These are kids who live in children’s homes, either because they are orphans or simply because they have been removed from their families due to abuse and neglect. Or because their families could not afford to care for them.
These youngsters often face a bleak Christmas while others celebrate a joyful, gift-filled day—all set in love.
For this reason, Sharl and Nikole are encouraging Newcastillians to get involved with their cause. Come December, the two caring Newcastillians intend to reach out to 500 children in Newcastle, Utrecht, and Dannhauser.
In light of the above, the duo welcomes donations of toys, clothing, books, and sweets. “We are also encouraging people to give of their time, as many of these children do not get people spending time with them,” Sharl stresses.
Going a step further, Sharl and Nikole are also requesting donations in order to supply the children from the various children’s homes with a home-cooked, traditional Christmas lunch.
Through these donations, Community Cares will be empowered to supply the youngsters with a party pack, gift and lunch while providing a genuine festive experience.
With the two community-orientated women determined to make a positive impact on children’s life this December, organisations and the public at large are invited to join them in bringing light to an otherwise bleak day.
For further information on how to get involved in the uplifting initiative, be sure to call Sharl Pillay on 076 113 8266 or Nikole Naidoo on 066 299 3411.
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