Imizamo Yethu is home to many of the children supported by the projects the Fellowship works with in Hout Bay. A week ago the township was devastated by a fire which destroyed many of the houses leaving children homeless, having lost everything to the fire. The following has been written by Portia, our representative in Hout Bay, who lives in IY and witnessed the fire firsthand.
PICKING UP THE PIECES
On Tuesday 14 March, four days after the searing flames of a massive fire engulfed one third of Imizamo Yethu, the victims of one of the worst fires Hout Bay has ever experienced, lined up along the periphery of the Hout Bay sports field. They stood waiting, in the hopes of receiving some of the clothing, shoes, bedding, underwear, food and other items that people and organisations had donated, to help with their reintroduction to life after the fire took everything they owned.
The energy on the field that day was electric. Volunteers could be seen all over the sports field and surrounding areas, handing out water and sandwiches to people waiting patiently in line. They were also unpacking boxes of clothes and other items that had just been delivered by concerned citizens, who wanted to help. The volunteers were mostly tending to the needs of everyone around them to the best of their abilities.
This fire has left the community of Hout Bay in shock. The feeling of disbelief was still heavy in the air for all the victims and volunteers but all they could do was push forward and create some sense of security and refuge for the thousands of people affected by the fire. Although the situation was a tragic one what predominantly came out of it was a Hout Bay that cares. A Hout Bay that communicates, expresses concern for its community members and takes action.
The day was long with people standing in line waiting for their turn to pick out some clothes, toiletries and bedding for themselves and their affected family members. As the hours went by the field was visited by media representatives who were looking to document the current events and the events leading up to it. Many representatives from various businesses stopped to oversee the delivery of items their companies had graciously donated to fire victims. Various Non-Profit Organisations could be seen attending to people and helping where they could as well.
As the day began to wind down and the line that seemed to never end began to shrink, a sense of relief began to settle over the camp. Although the impact of the fire was still far from being a thing of the past for its victims, a small step forward had been made by the people of Hout Bay and all over South Africa and the world, who took the time to take note of a community in need, and take action.
The Fellowship is raising funds to provide for the fire victims. Children from Little Angels and Ikhasi Youth have lost everything. If you would like to to help please make a donation using the DONATE link above.