During the COVID-19 lockdown, SCOUTS South Africa’s adult volunteers nationwide are providing essential care services and social relief of distress to older persons, mentally ill, persons with disabilities, the sick and single parents with children that can’t leave their homes.
In the Western Cape, 1st Pinelands Rovers Laura Troost and Johann Harzon are coordinating the collection and delivery of groceries and chronic medication within their communities. “These are uncharted and difficult times. People are fearful of the unknown and it is our role to provide some peace of mind to those who are vulnerable in our communities”, clarifies Johann. “Scouting at its core is all about developing youth to be great leaders and to give back to their communities. I feel it’s my duty as a citizen to help where I can. So in line with our permits, the government gazetted regulations, our safety guidelines and keeping common sense in mind, we are assisting people in Pinelands, Kensington, Goodwood, Mowbray and Claremont as that is where our volunteers currently reside. When more Adult Scout volunteers come on board, we will be able to expand our reach within their local communities.”
“I come from a Scouting family and my mother is a nurse. By doing this I am also able to step up and do my part” says Laura. “I have learnt to be prepared so therefore I read up about COVID-19, how it spreads and how to prevent contamination. I also discussed this with medical professionals, verified the government guidelines and compared our procedure to that of the Gauteng Rovers who are providing a similar service. Our pool of volunteers are all following the stringent rules we put into place to keep themselves and the people we serve safe from contamination. These regulations include such things as wearing a mask and gloves when going out, sanitizing our car door handles and steering wheels, our hands and handles of shopping bags among other things. We also don’t have any direct contact with the people we serve. Everything happens over WhatsApp and email and we leave the groceries at the doors or with security officers at old age homes.” she explains. “So far the deliveries have been standard. However sweets seem to be the comfort food of choice for the elderly during this time where they are isolated from their friends and family members.”
The Western Cape logistics are coordinated centrally by Johann. “When we get orders in I look at our pool of people and consolidate shopping trips. We try to limit exposure as much as possible and so one person would be fulfilling a few orders in one trip. Therefore we ask people to give us 24 to 48 hours to complete an order. The deliveries are done free of charge by our volunteers who consider it a privilege to help” he says. ”I myself am humbled knowing that when we look back at this time, I will know that I was able to contribute.”
To view what the SCOUTS SA Rovers in Gauteng are doing click here.
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