Even prior to the Covid-19 lockdown Caron-Leah Resnick, together with Ilan Ossendryver, has over the last few years been involved in upliftment projects in the Kliptown area of western Johannesburg. With lockdown conditions having greatly exacerbated the already dire living conditions in Kliptown, she now coordinates the efforts of the Waverley 2 Kliptown CAN, which is registered with Gauteng Together and the Angel Network to provide food to destitute families living there. Waverley 2 is collaborating with the Melrose CAN headed up by Howard Sackstein, which has passed on to it the food donations they have received for distribution to Kliptown families. Melrose is concentrating on food donations while Waverley receives mainly monetary donations.
One of the Jewish social upliftment organisation that has since come on board is Afrika Tikkun, which has long run important outreach projects in Kliptown. Through its CEO Marc Lubner, thirty large food parcels were donated to the Waverley 2 CAN, and distributed to sixty families. For its part, Boxer Wholesalers has kindly discounted and arranged for the collection and distribution of the R500 foodbags.
The Kliptown initiative is characterised by a high degree of organisation aimed at getting the maximum benefit from whatever is available. Through people on the ground, it has identified the kind of needs that different families and individuals have. For example single people, which in the main includes most foreign migrants, do not need as much perishable foodstuffs as families do. Hence the contents of food parcels are adjusted with a view to providing for their respective recipients for a full month. Upon collection, all recipients are recorded on paper with their signatures so that each week the foodbags are fairly distributed so as to maintain order in helping to feed the over 500 families in the Kliptown community.
The Waverley 2 Kliptown CAN has embarked on fundraising for fixed staple food boxes at R500 each that they will distribute in conjunction with the Melrose CAN. Beyond COVID-19, Caron-Leah and Ilan Ossendryver are working on more long term upliftment projects with the team under Sthembiso on the ground in Kliptown. Some of the ideas being mooted are a soup kitchen, a soccer academy and general investment in the area. Ilan, a photo-journalist who has done much work in the Johannesburg informal settlements, has completed a short video that will shortly be sending to overseas and local networks to raise more funds and awareness.