Lo­cals help clean up the city

Go! & Express - - GO! IN KING - MATTHEW FIELD

PHI­LAN­THROPIST Mar­lene Neu­mann was grate­ful when the Bucka­roo Pro­ject re­ceived a do­na­tion of R5 000 from the Ro­tary Club of Gately last month, raised at the Wine Auc­tion at the Pre­mier Ho­tel in East Lon­don.

The Bucka­roo pro­ject funds a pet ster­il­i­sa­tion drive which, to date, has seen more than 200 dogs spayed and neutered.

For the past five months, the pro­ject has been work­ing in the Chintsa East town­ship.

The Daily Dis­patch re­ported (“Ro­tary Club do­nates 20k” June 20) that Ro­tary’s aim was to sup­port or­gan­i­sa­tions that make a dif­fer­ence in the com­mu­nity.

“I am ex­cited and grate­ful that the an­i­mals are fi­nally be­ing recog­nised as part of Ro­tary in East Lon­don.

“An­i­mals are sen­tient be­ings and should be treated with the same care as hu­mans,” Neu­mann said. For the past year ev­ery Mon­day, Neu­mann and her Bucka­roo vol­un­teers, along with the East Lon­don SPCA, go into town­ships and ster­ilise dogs.

She said it was al­ways a chal­lenge to find money to do this.

“The money we have re­ceived from Gately was used to­wards ster­il­is­ing fe­male town­ship dogs and to buy some ken­nels for win­ter.

“We are in des­per­ate need of dog pel­lets as the dogs must be fed be­fore ster­il­i­sa­tion to fat­ten them up for the op­er­a­tion,” she said.

Neu­mann and her Bucka­roo team are rais­ing funds for a ster­il­i­sa­tion drive in in­for­mal set­tle­ments in and around East Lon­don.

“I be­lieve that if we can slow the birth rate down, the lo­cal shel­ters will feel the re­lief in years to come.”

She said they ur­gently re­quired blan­kets, ken­nels, food and col­lars.

Do­na­tions can be dropped off at her cen­tre at 83 Kent Road, Vincent. TO KEEP the home­less warm this win­ter Lumka Mdeliso of Ama­linda do­nates blan­kets to make a dif­fer­ence in the East Lon­don com­mu­nity.

Mdeliso, who works as a fash­ion, beauty and home man­ager at Wool­worths, said she started the ini­tia­tive in April af­ter see­ing many peo­ple sleep­ing on the streets with­out any blan­kets.

“There are street-dwellers that the Down­town Chris­tian Cen­tre hosts at a soup kitchen and, since it is win­ter, I re­ally felt for them sleep­ing on floors with­out blan­kets,” she said.

Mdeliso ap­proached her friends and asked them to do­nate blan­kets and was sur­prised by the sup­port she re­ceived.

“We col­lected blan­kets that EAST Lon­don-based or­gan­i­sa­tion The Lo­cal Yokel Pro­ject held a fundraiser at Bea­con Bay Coun­try Club on Fri­day in or­der to raise money for their new clean-up pro­gramme, Masiyenze.

The pro­ceeds will go to­wards buy­ing new equip­ment for the clean-up crews.

Lo­cal Yokel was founded by Meg De­van in 2014 and was ini­tially fo­cused on en­cour­ag­ing East Lon­don­ers to sup­port lo­cal busi­nesses.

“We’ve got an on­line direc­tory where peo­ple can see which the lo­cal busi­nesses are in East Lon­don,” De­van said. we could do­nate to­wards these street-dwellers to make the win­ter sea­son a lit­tle more bear­able for them.

“The man­date is that 51% of the own­er­ship must re­side in our area.

“Part of get­ting Lo­cal Yokel go­ing is get­ting the pride back in our city,” she said.

To con­tinue in this vein, Lo­cal Yokel be­gan or­gan­is­ing street clean-ups around the city, which be­gan in Jan­uary this year. They named their new pro­ject “Masiyenze” (Let's Do It) and, to date, have man­aged to col­lect about 20 tons of refuse.

The pro­ject fo­cuses mostly on clear­ing gut­ters, re­mov­ing weeds, and gen­eral tidy­ing up of the city’s streets. While they did do lit­ter pick-ups when needed, this was not a big part of the pro­ject, De­van

“The sup­port I had was amaz­ing. Some brought clothes and some even bought new blan­kets to sup­port the ini­tia­tive,” Mdeliso said.

She said she took the blan­kets to the Chris­tian Cen­tre where they were handed out to the home­less.

“This is only the be­gin­ning. What I had dis­cov­ered in this jour­ney is that there is more to be done for the needy and there is more that I can do to help oth­ers.

“Our com­mu­nity needs us. “There is more to be done to make a dif­fer­ence and I see this ini­tia­tive grow­ing and if we get as many spon­sors as pos­si­ble that can help, ev­ery­one who needs a hand can be reached,” she said. said. “There ac­tu­ally isn’t as much lit­ter as we think,” she said.

Ac­cord­ing to Chris Turner, one of the co-founders of the Masiyenze pro­ject, they aim to “take the ‘slum’ out of ‘Slum­mies’.”

“The way it started was to try and re­claim East Lon­don one street at a time,” he said.

“It's nice at the end of each week when I can see there is a dif­fer­ence,” Turner said.

Any­one look­ing to help The Lo­cal Yokel Pro­ject or find out more about the or­gan­i­sa­tion, can visit their web­site, http://www.lo­ca­lyokel.co.za/ or their Face­book page.

Pic­ture: SUP­PLIED

WIN­TER WARMER: Lumka Mdeliso, cen­tre, is do­ing her part to help the home­less this win­ter with the help of her friends and vol­un­teers

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