A convoy of heavy trucks loaded with feed for livestock in dire need heading to farmers in drought stricken areas! This vision of a lady from Cape Town whilst sitting at her families’ laden Christmas dinner table at the end of last year has speedily become a reality.
Adri Williams, owner of Khayelitsha Cookies, a business that empowers and uplifts black women, paid for and personally delivered 512 bales of lucerne to farmers in Williston two weeks ago and to her shock experienced the devastation of the drought in the Northern Cape first hand: horses screaming from hunger, sheep being kept upright in makeshift hessian slings to prevent them from lying down and dying and farmers who don’t even have enough food or water themselves to present to their benefators.
Upon her return Adri shared her heartwrenching experience with the presenters and listeners of Cape Town based community radio station, Tygerberg 104 fm, who immediately jumped into action and embarked on Project SOS 100 to raise funds to purchase feed for the livestock of farmers in need.
The station’s highest expectations were exceeded when its listeners responded to the call for help and within just five days paid in R 2 146 000. With this amount, they have now purchased and started to deliver close on 600 tons of silage. The feed consists of lucerne pellets that are wind resistant and will enable at least 80 farmers to feed their livestock for three weeks.
The listeners of Tygerberg 104fm responded from far and wide. Contributions were received from abroad as far as Canada, Saudi Arabia and Holland. A number of the listeners started their own small projects at institutions like schools and old age homes to collect money for the project.
The first load of 36 tons was loaded in Oudtshoorn on Tuesday evening last week and delivered to farmers in need in the Williston and Calvinia districts the next day. Man Truck & Bus sponsored the transport. Groceries for farm households, sponsored by Pick ‘n Pay, were also delivered. The second consignment of feed was loaded on Saturday and delivered on Sunday to farmers in the Sutherland district. The rest of the cargo will be distributed by the organisation Boere in Nood (Farmers in Need) to those districts where they know the need is the greatest.
There is a close working relationship with agricultural cooperatives to ensure the fast distribution of feed to help struggling farmers. The purhase of silage is also stimulating the local economy that is buckling under the strain of the continuous drought and heavily indebted farmers.
Prayer and action
Commenting on the radio listeners overhwelming support to the outrcy on behalf of drought ravaged farmers, Sedrick Taljaard, content manager of Tygerberg 104fm said: “Our listeners not only assisted in praying for rain and deliverance for the drought-stricken parts of our country, but instead of sitting back and waiting for the rain, they decided to take action and get involved in supporting project SOS100”.
In response to Gateway News’s congratulations on the remarkable community initiative he said: “The amazing story is that we didn’t plan this project at all. We just did what we had to do and used the medium that God gave us to convey the farmers’ outcry for help to our listeners. And then He stepped in and showed us what He can do if we put all our faith and trust in Him. All glory to God!
Anybody who would like to donate to the drought relief fund via EFT can do so at: Radio Tygerberg, ABSA Cheque Account, Account number: 404 894 1668, Branch Code: 632 005. As reference use: SOS100.