In December last year, the Eerste Fabriek informal settlement suffered severe flooding that left over 1000 residents homeless and destroyed over 700 shacks. The Mamelodi Baptist Church opened its doors to residents of the Eerste Fabriek informal settlement and is now home to 60 people and feeds 150 people daily.
In March 2020, the church founder Pastor Thembelani Jentile stated in an interview conducted by PowerFM that while they have to feed the 60 people who still live at the church, other members of the community also depend on the church for food and they will be running out of supplies soon if they don’t receive any assistance. He then requested the public to assist with blankets, food, sanitizers and masks midst the Coronavirus pandemic.
The public plea reached the heart of Precious M, a young lady born and bred in Mamelodi. She made it her assignment to not only provide food, blankets and masks but to also assist by adding her voice to find a safe space for flood victims relocation.
“I didn’t know how to help but I decided that with my resources and contacts, I was determined to make a difference in the township that molded me and contributed to who I am. I started by taking all the clothes my family wasn’t wearing and bought toiletries and other essentials to donate. I had no idea how I would continue to make an impact but I reached out to friends and family who made donations which assisted in purchasing blankets, vegetables and masks,” said Precious.
For Precious, the reason to give back and help others is personal. Her ability to see herself in others connects her to those in need. The concept of making everyday a Mandela Day has become a reality for her. It’s been 7 long months but in the last week the Gauteng government relocated the Eerste Fabriek flood victims to a safer land to rebuild their homes.
“Thank you to everyone who assisted with donations whilst the Eerste Fabriek flood victims were at Mamelodi Baptist Church. I was a pain to some of my donors but the support I have received has been overwhelming! I appreciate it and I urge all citizens to do their bit in the fight against Covid-19 pandemic and in the fight to end poverty. I just want to continue being a vessel of help for people and as I embark on a new journey of being a change agent my prayer is strength moving forward” she said.