How do you help someone while ensuring their dignity stays intact?
That is a question we engage with all the time in AkukhanYa. This is a question we really engaged with while planning the KhuYa Campaign. A person's first choice is not a handout, but they will take it if it is offered.
We don't like handouts. Handouts steal a person's dignity and devaluate the gesture. We don't let our learners off the hook when it comes to training. We are not giving handouts to the small entrepreneurs the KhuYa Campaign supports but buying the prizes from them.
The same is true for the unemployed we are supporting with the food parcels every month. Standing in a queue waiting for a handout is demoralising. It also creates anxiety. "What if there is nothing left when we get to the front?" or "What if we are turned away because we don't belong to the right political party (ANC*), or age, or gender, or...?" *Unfortunately, this happened all the time with the emergency food parcels during the lockdown.
We struggled with the decision if we should give a weekly food parcel or a monthly one, should we give vouchers for Checkers or Spar and they buy their own food, should we... So many options and which is the most humane?
We also did not feel comfortable just HANDING OUT food parcels. It goes against our value system of ensuring that dignity + respect + hope should be inspired in all human beings we interact with at AkukhanYa.
We decided on a 2-prong solution:
Nobody will be given a "free" food parcel or handout. Something can be done to "pay" for the food parcel. Be it helping with cleaning up the local communities, or our training centre, be it painting or working in the garden or doing community service. One day in exchange for one week's food. Every family we help is assessed individually so that what they offer as "payment" is dignifying for the family and individuals in the family. We will also walk a road with the family and assist in finding work, or training, professional assistance. This is about feeding the body and the mind and the soul of the families we interact with. Families from all races and circumstances.
The family or individual come and "pay" for their weekly food parcel with the "money-ticket" they have generated during the week. We have partnered with the local distributor of Genesis Nutrition - a South African company that has developed and produce nutritional meals that do not need electricity, fire or even water, but come in amazing sachets or bulk. Food for adults, for the frail adult and infants. It is not a parcel with meat and vegetables and fancy goodies, but enough healthy meals for the family for the week - ensuring that every member of the family gets all the nutrition they need to not only survive but flourish. The Kairos Infant nutrition is an excellent product that works on the same principles as the Genesis nutrition pouches.
You can find out everything there is to know about Genesis Nutrition here or read more about the products above..
The KhuYa Campaign is NOT about making money, it is about shining a light on what is possible so that together we can make a difference in our world.
We appreciate your support.