Mandela volunteers assist in packing 220 food parcels


After calling for student and staff volunteers to assist in packing food parcels for communities and organisations affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, Nelson Mandela University’s Convergence Fund Deployment Committee (CFDC) recently managed the delivery of 220 food parcels. 

The second cycle of food relief facilitated by the committee, under the leadership of Dr Bruce Damons, focused on identified communities in Nelson Mandela Bay and organisations providing support to survivors of gender based violence.

The parcels were distributed to the communities of Walmer Area E and Vista Village/Rolihlahla, connected to the University’s Human Settlements Chair and whose team ultimately managed the distribution alongside Missionvale Care Centre.  Other recipients were Yokhuselo Haven, Yethu Safe House and Phaphamani Rape Crisis Centre.

Several students and staff responded to the initial call to volunteer and 16 volunteers eventually participated, under the leadership of the Missionvale Care Centre, in the preparation of the food parcels.  

“It was a very positive experience, we were able to connect with the volunteers, hear about their experience of the pandemic, their studies and their interest in community work.  We were also able to learn more about the work of Missionvale Care Centre, the various concerns and considerations that go into food parcel procurement and packing, and the amount of effort it took to pack this number of food parcels!" said Nicole Collier-Naidoo, civil society representative on the CFDC and Community Convergence Workstream (CCW) project coordinator.  

One of the volunteers, science student Nicole Infante, said “I decided to assist in the packing of parcels to give back to the community during these difficult times.  I have been struggling myself during this time, but thankfully I had someone who was looking after me. I decided that the best way to show my gratitude for this help, was to return the favour”.