Our centre is blessed to have a large site to operate from with many buildings at our disposal. Our dream was always that our centre could be used also by other projects, we want our site to be open to the whole community and not limited by the services Isibani can provide.
Oftentimes other community groups use our buildings for meetings or training workshops, one of our buildings is utilized by Zimele, a sewing project employing local women.
One of the rooms on our site we call “distribution”. As goods are donated to Isibani, we use this room for storage and sorting of the donations. Mostly things come from local community members but it has been known for donations to come from as far away as Johannesburg.
Most of our donations are clothes but we also receive other miscellaneous household items (old printers, TV’s, crockery, bric a brac). Other donations have included hot water geezers, carpets, bedding and towels donated by local hotels, children’s tables and chairs, beds, stationery, old glasses and even frozen eggs!! We are supported by more than one knitting group so are never short of beanies and baby blankets.
Using the distribution room we are able to sort and keep these donated goods until a suitable home is found for them.
We regularly have people from the local community requesting clothes, especially in winter. If they are not working they may not be able to afford to buy themselves new shoes or even a jersey or warm coat.
Sometimes a house burns down or a storm comes and destroys complete homes, families lose everything … it is hard to imagine the devastation that fires, winds and floods can bring unless you see it first-hand. In cases such as these we are able to respond immediately to the crisis handing out shoes, clothes and kitchen items (pots, plates and cutlery).
We receive a lot of small baby clothes so have made up “baby starter packs” which we give to new mothers. These packs include new born baby clothes, blankets, Vaseline etc). We also take a few of these packs to the local hospital maternity ward where staff are able to hand them out to mums they feel would benefit from them.
All donations received into the centre are reviewed by our volunteers and they decide if we should keep the goods for emergencies, hand them out immediately or pass them onto another local project who may have more need for them than us. Isibani is centrally located in Winterton so is a convenient place for donations to be dropped off. We try to share the donations with other projects (hospices, orphanages, hospitals, old age homes etc) when we have excess of goods or things we have no real use for.
We also have a charity shop on site where we are able to sell excess items or things not suitable for emergency relief. All the goods sold are at a nominal price to make them affordable to the community. The profits made from the shop are all invested back into the community centre.