KenFac Community Healing though COVID-19

Involved alumni:

The challenge that the project addresses

The COVID-19 is highlighting many inequities in service delivery across sectors but the silo-ed approach of health care needs to be addressed urgently. Community based services must be developed and supported to ensure the mental, physical, social, economic, spiritual and community health needs. This project addresses the safety, health and food security issues affecting citizens of the Kensington and Factreton area in Cape Town.

What is your project doing to respond to this challenge?

KenFac CAN is an umbrella organisation, specifically formed to provide support to the Kensington and Factreton community during the COVID-19 crisis. KenFac CAN started with a FaceBook sign-up response by members of the KenFac Ratepayers and Residents Association  on 21 March 2020. This was done with the intention of coordinating local neighbourhood activities specifically geared to keeping the Kensington and Factreton community safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. The medical response to COVID-19 is organised by the Dept. of Health but we know that health is more than just the absence of disease. On the 28 March 2020, Play Sport4Life (PS4L) joined forces with KenFac CAN and thereafter the collaboration broadened to include schools, other civil organisations, mosques and churches in the area.
  1. We are supporting the community with education on keeping healthy.
  2. We assist the vulnerable to access support from the Department of Social Development.
  3. We coordinate with the team and different networks to get food parcels to the most vulnerable in the community.
  4. We are supporting the development of solidarity kitchens so that people maintain their dignity and do not have to queue for food.
  5. We are promoting whole community involvement through the “help your neighbour” concept.

Describe the project's impact

• Collective, collaborative multi-stakeholder involvement to use COVID–19 to build resilience and community healing.
• Adopt a “hand up not a hand out” philosophy in all interactions with the community.
• Advocate for more access to water and sanitation for informal settlements and backyard dwellers.
• There has been no housing developments in the area for 50 years and no safe recreational spaces exist for the community. We advocate for infrastructure development in the area in terms of safe living/housing and playing spaces.
• We raise awareness of health problems faced at community level and advocate for an integrated approach to health service delivery.
•We develop agency and ownership so that KenFac community becomes actively involved in finding contextually relevant solutions.
• We create kind and caring networks through solidarity kitchens, which have adopted a “help your neighbour in need” attitude.
• Put KenFac on the map as a socio-economically mixed area in the Cape Flats that adopts a peaceful approach to the challenges and opportunities it faces.