As with all our board meetings that last at least 4 hours, deviating from the agenda and getting excited about happenings in Kindness Corporation are a norm. In one of our meetings the conversation went to how our neighbouring countries were facing huge challenges with PPE’s especially the NGO’s and NPO’s. Rosemary Mvulane, our Deputy Chairperson has close friends who work in Gweru, Zimbabwe, in particular, Clinic of Hope. This clinic, due to financial restraints has very little in the way of PPE’s and faced people in the community who had contracted many communicable diseases, especially COVID-19, on a daily basis. Sinnah Ramakhula, our Institution Liaison officer, mentioned that Lesotho was also facing the same challenge and her close ties with the Red Cross confirmed the fact.
We felt pretty helpless as we had depleted all the stock donated by DawonZA (Pty) Ltd by donating to our local schools and clinics.
Cynthia then approached Mr Ashley Stevens from DawonZA to ask if they would consider donating just a small stock of disposable masks that we could send to the Queen’s Trust (Lesotho) and to Clinic of Hope.
Well, the response was overwhelming! 200 000 disposable 3 ply masks were donated to Kindness Corporation to assist where we saw fit! Happiness all around!
Getting the masks across the borders was not for the faint hearted …. Paper work galore!! Mr & Mrs Frank and Bessie Mbengu, based in Zimbabwe, filled their double cab with 35 000 masks which Cynthia and her helper, Sara, managed to vacuum seal so they could send as many as they could. Armed with letters and forms and paperwork, Mr and Mrs Mbengu set off to Gweru with the precious cargo which was received by the Clinic of Hope with great appreciation and gratitude.
Sinnah brought to our attention a call for assistance from the OBE COVID-19 initiative in Lesotho. This initiative was set in place under the auspices of Her Majesty, Queen Masenate Mohato Seeiso’s Queen’s National Trust Fund. The initiative called on all daughters and sons of Lesotho residing in South Africa, in solidarity with the Basotho nation to find ways to assist the homeland in any way possible to fight the pandemic.
All contributions in any shape or form would be channelled through this Queen’s Trust, which has an outstanding track record of handling and implementing community initiatives. Her Majesty also has close ties to the Red Cross in Lesotho so we knew that any donation would be in good hands.
An interesting fact is that the initiative was called COVID-19 OBE for a reason. This is the explanation taken from a communication by Her Majesty, Queen Masenate Mohato Seeiso:
Similar to other nations, Basotho have had mythical stories that explored the depths of life. Such a mythical story that is relevant to the modern age related to OBE, which teaches us lessons of existential threats. The mythical animal OBE is said to have attacked people in the night. It would snatch its victim and gallop into the night. The victim would wail from pain and the voice would fade in the distance each time it dropped the loot for relief and grab it again into the night. Humans prevail and one day men went out armed to the teeth with spears and knob kierries and defeated the monster. Today we are confronted by an existential reality from a monster. COVID-19 is the latter day mythical OBE which is marauding across the globe and causing havoc. The Government of the Kingdom of Lesotho has made a call to address this monster. In support of this call, I appeal to every Mosotho and friends, wherever they are, to take on the necessary ammunition to go and fight and defeat this latter day monster, COVID-19. Kindly answer the call by donating to Her Majesty’s Trust Fund in any way possible to help us in the moment of greatest need.
A decision was taken by the board to heed the call and donate 100 000 disposable 3 ply masks to the Queen’s Trust on behalf of DawonZA and ourselves. Sinnah paved the way for us. She engaged with the Chairperson of the COVID-19 initiative, Mr Pali Lehohla and arrangements were made. As an NPO we tried by all means to get the consignment across the border in the most economical way possible as we didn’t have the funds in our budget to carry the cost. Mr Lehohla and Justice Nthomeng Majara agreed to pay for the transport of the masks to Lesotho. The negotiations for the best price took two weeks and eventually an extremely favourable price was offered by Razer Distribution. We won’t go into detail around the border crossing from South Africa into Lesotho. All we shall say is that it was an unnecessary delay, and leave it at that. Justice Manjara put us in touch with Mr Tsepang Lehasa, and wow, what a guy! He met the truck at the border and made all the arrangements at the Palace for the delivery…. Done! Teamwork at it’s best… Kindness Corporation and DawonZA ensured the people of Lesotho have some weaponry to take on the dreaded OBE.
Kindness in all we do remains our mantra and honestly, with that in the back of our minds, turns out the benefit is making new friends along the way.
Thank you DawonZA (Pty) Ltd!