Community Chest rolls out the next phase of a R6,4-million COVID-19 health fortification project

The rollout of this new phase provides vulnerable communities with immune-boosting services and products.

Community Chest, the innovative solutions and professional donor investment management hub in South Africa, is rolling out the next phase of a R6,4-million COVID-19 health fortification project under the auspices of the National Emergency COVID-19 Health Fund on May 16.

The National Emergency COVID-19 Health Fund is the main vehicle to generate and manage investments from government, corporates, civil society partners and individuals. It was established and is managed by Community Chest, which also serves as the social investment advisor and grant-maker. 

This phase of the R6,4-million COVID-19 health fortification project, directly impacts vulnerable communities by providing them with immune boosting nutrition and products, such as food, masks, flu shots, virus contact screening and vitamin supplements.

It has been made possible by a grant from the Health and Welfare Sector Education and Training Authority (HWSETA).

According to HWSETA CEO, Elaine Brass, the grant was made because the organisation sees its mandate reaching beyond a skills development responsibility to one where it contributes to a better life for all South Africans.

“The pandemic presented us with a unique opportunity to do just that,” she said. “When we became aware of Community Chest’s work in response to the pandemic, we identified them as an ideal partner. Through their initiatives, communities are provided with much needed assistance and support, whilst gathering critical data which further enables an effective response to the needs of all affected by the pandemic. 

“May God bless our country, and may the initiatives we put in place make a significant difference to those who need it most.”

Detailing the rollout, Community Chest Board Chairperson, Charleen Duncan, said a key element guiding the intervention was future resilience planning, which ensures that vulnerable citizens receive resources to survive the pandemic as stronger and healthier individuals, living in a cleaner and safer environment.

She added that the HWSETA grant was initially intended for screening and immune boosting only, with TB HIV Care as the screening partner, and Iyeza Health, a former Community Chest Impumelelo Social Innovations Entrepreneur of the Year Award Winner, as the immune boosting partner.

It was expanded to include food relief as soon as the devastating effects of the lockdown extension on food security became apparent. Food relief distribution will focus on three provinces, the Western Cape, Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal, with Community Chest organisations in the Eastern Cape and Durban acting as provincial partners. 

“The National Emergency COVID-19 Health Fund is our national response to the pandemic and intends to support the work of NGO networks across the country within vulnerable communities. It is monitored in terms of strict Board governance rules, and Community Chest reports on all use of funds while deliverables, monitoring, evaluation and reporting processes are governed by a signed agreement and Board oversight,” Duncan said.

“Given its unique position, we are able to coordinate the efforts of multiple stakeholders effectively to ensure a targeted response in creating access to key health and wellness products and services for vulnerable South Africans,” she said.

Community Chest’s National Emergency COVID-19 Health Fund welcomes donations from individuals and organisation.

Contributions can be made via the details below:

Name of Account: COVID-19 Fund

Account Number: 628 4873 6099

Bank Name: First National Bank

Branch Code: 201-409

Global Number: 250 655

Reference: Name and Surname