I was talking to my friend Melinda Ferguson yesterday. Both of us had had a challenging week; a week filled with grief and despair, measured with the absolute knowledge that there were so many worse off than either of us. It is a balancing act that defies the laws of nature. How do you manage the personal, political, global and local when you have no idea what is really going on?
We were talking about the feeling of how charity has a ‘drop in the ocean’ effect when Melinda came up with the most simple, practical and obvious idea. Imagine if anyone who could would eWallet a destitute person R350 a month? The same amount that the government will be paying. Imagine if we kept it personal, took out the NGO, the middleman, the administrator? Each person who can, sends R350 to someone who has nothing, every month for the next while. keeping them alive. With no fanfare or rigmarole or publicity. If you can, you do it.
Right now R350 is a sacrifice for me. But it is simple. I must read one tarot (and R50 more) for it to happen. I know of someone in the Transkei who has nothing. I will send her the money, every month.
Who is in this? Who wants to do it? If you think this can work then let’s spread the word. If you have good ideas about how to spread the word, then do it, go for it. If you can afford more, give more. You decide.
If you want to talk about this more, leave comments. If you want to add to the idea, the conversation, let’s do it. I have a feeling that now is the time, and the place. If you don’t personally know of anyone, ask me, ask someone who works for you (who I assume you are still paying). Caryn Gootkin from Souper Troupers knows of many homeless people that could use R350 a month and who may not be able to access government funding. If you want recognition for contributing, I will publicise your effort. My fantasy is that everyone who usually gives randomly and generously will be able to harness their donation into a specific, realisable, simple thing.
Edit. Please let me know, privately or publicly, if you do this, so we can get a sense of our reach. I have just done mine.