The Generous Cape of Stormers
“If it weren’t for rugby, I’d be taking food parcels, not giving them.” These were the words of Siya Kolisi, Springbok captain and Stormers hero, as rugby’s macho image softened and delivered well over a ton of food to the needy aged.
Not for the first time this year, Kolisi, who knows first hand the pain of deprivation, has led in helping the needy in a community.
Thursday it was NOAH; Friday it was further afield.
The Stormers chose four charities to support this year, and one of them was the recipient of Thursday’s generosity – the Neighborhood Old Aged Homes (NOAH), a non-government organisation caring for the poor elderly from Atlantis to Khayelitsha with its headquarters in Woodstock. It aims to provide secure accommodation on ordinary houses in communities while giving the elderly as much freedom of decision as possible while their needs are taken care of. Pick ‘n Pay, a company famous for its generous involvement in the community, shares in this through its Feed the Nation campaign. In turn the Stormers have made personal donations of over R50 000 to Feed the Nation which has altogether raised R52.2 million.
On Thursday, Pick ‘n Pay delivered 1 354 kg of food to the NOAH headquartrs in Regent Street, Woodstock. There were 29 different items of food in the 1 354 kg, including cooking oil, maize, baked beans, rice, milk, pilchards, soup, tomato paste, coffee, sugar, mixed vegetables, and vegetable curry.
Eight Stormers players did the offloading and unpacking. Five of the eight were Springboks, men who won that dramatic Rugby World Cup in Japan – captain Siya Kolisi, Steven Kitshoff, Scarra Ntubeni, Damian Willemse, and Dillyn Leyds. Also there were Chris van Zyl, who has captained the Stormers, Kwenzo Blose and Nama Xaba.
The food is destined for the elderly in Khayelitsha where those on the state’s pension queue in long, tiring lines for the R1 860 that is their social grant/pension. Then they stand in long, tiring queues for food, often with that pension much diminished. NOAH does its best to sustain them, providing a place to live, food, medical expenses, clothes, transport, and other basic needs. On this occasion they were helped by Pick ‘n Pay and the Stormers.
In all NOAH supports more than 750 pensioners who rely on a social grant of R1 860 per month – which needs to cover the costs of a place to live, food, medical expenses, clothes, transport, and other basic needs. But, with a sharp rise in pension-headed households, this grant also often needs to support the entire household.
Anne Dobson, NOAH Director, the daughter of Margaret Dobson who built NOAH from scratch, said that given their increased vulnerability, she was pleased that the elderly were being supported as they are often at the bottom of the list of priorities. “We are thrilled that the DHL Stormers – right at the top of the attraction list – have recognised and included them in their support. What a powerful and far-reaching way to use their influence!”
Sinah George, NOAH’s Khayelitsha manager, said: “Through the commitment of our partners, such as Pick ‘n Pay and the Stormers, we can ensure food security for the elderly, recognise them as the providers that they are, and help them restore their esteem and position in their households. Building strong households through our beneficiaries is an ongoing focus for us.”
NOAH is one of four Cape Town-based charities that DHL Stormers identified to assist at the beginning of this year’s Super Rugby campaign. The other three charities will also receive food hampers from Pick an Pay’s Feed the Nation next week.
Stormers coach, John Dobson, said: “Our older generation is often way down the list when it comes to charitable donations, and so we are pleased to help point the spotlight on this worthy charity that does important work in many communities across Cape Town. We are delighted that, with Pick an Pay’s help, we can make a big impact on their lives.”
Suzanne Ackerman-Berman, transformation director at Pick ‘n Pay, said: “By supporting organisations like NOAH, they can continue to focus their full attention on caring for our elderly citizens, who are the most vulnerable at this time.”
On Friday, the kind combinations of Stormers and Pick ‘n Pay were out on the road again, trying to help the elderly. This time there were five of them plus their coach – Siya Kolisi, Damian De Allende, Scarra Ntubeni, Chris van Zyl and Nama Xaba plus coach John Dobson.
Off they went to Worcester, then on to Robertson, then back to Wellington and then, after handing out food at each of those towns, on home.