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Community Chest and HWSETA grow National Emergency COVID-19 Health Fund

June 17, 2020

The HWSETA is proud to announce a partnership with Community Chest valued at R6.45m in support of our National Emergency COVID-19 Health Fund.

In light of the pandemic, Community Chest established the fund as a ‘Coalition of the Committed’, a platform to convene the efforts of government, corporates and grassroots-level civil society organisations to combat the consequences of the pandemic.

This fund is the main vehicle to generate and manage investments from a number of corporate entities, civil society partners, government and individuals.

Community Chest is positioned as a convener, social investment advisor and grant-maker. Given this unique position, the organisation is able to effectively coordinate the efforts of multiple stakeholders to ensure a targeted response in creating access to key health and wellness products and services for vulnerable South Africans.

The HWSETA grant funding will be used to directly impact vulnerable communities through individual health fortification services which include the provision of immune boosting nutrition and products, e.g. food, masks, flu shots, virus testing, vitamin supplements, etc. and through future resilience planning which ensures that every vulnerable citizen is provided with the resources to survive COVID-19 as a stronger and healthier individual, living in a cleaner and safer environment.

Charleen Duncan, Community Chest Board Chairperson says that the Community Chest’s COVID-19 Fund is its national response to the pandemic and it intends to support the work of NGO networks across the country in its work with vulnerable sectors of society. The Fund is monitored within the strict guidelines of Board governance rules. All use of funds are reported on and all deliverables, monitoring, evaluation and reporting processes are governed by a signed agreement and Board oversight.

Community Chest CEO, Lorenzo Davids, says the onset of the pandemic in South Africa reminds him of why the organisation was founded. “In 1928, a group of committed Cape Town stakeholders collaborated in service to the destitute and formed the Community Chest. Nine decades later we regard it as our moral obligation to continue their legacy, especially in a time of crisis.”

Craig Kensley, Community Chest Head of Business Development says, “The COVID-19 Health Fund was our immediate response to a crisis that we knew would overwhelm the poor, the marginalized and those living in densely populated informal settlements. As an organisation whose mission it is to build a nation of active citizens, it became our duty to remember our roots and take meaningful and immediate action,” he continued. “Finding a like-minded partner like the HWSETA was the welcome collaboration we constantly work towards.”

The HWSETA CEO, Elaine Brass, explains their rationale behind the partnership. “We see our mandate reaching beyond a skills development responsibility, where we also contribute to a better life for all South Africans.”
“The pandemic presented us with a unique opportunity to do just that. When we became aware of Community Chest’s work in response to the pandemic, we identified them as an ideal partner,” she continued. “Through their initiatives, communities are provided with much needed assistance and support, whilst gathering critical data which further enables an effective response to the needs of all affected by the pandemic.”

“May God bless our country, and may the initiatives we put in place make a significant difference to those who need it most,” HWSETA concluded.

Community Chest is collaborating with a technology partner to support the fund by providing a live dashboard reflecting supply management chains throughout the project. The dashboard accurately pinpoints live distribution numbers and reach in any given location throughout South Africa at any given time.
The logistical rollout of the fund will commence immediately with identified implementing community partners, last throughout the pandemic period and continue on a longer-term basis to provide the same health support into the future.

Last modified: June 17, 2020

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