Winter Campaign – it sounds very military. Every year, for 12 years now, we too embark on a winter campaign. And though it is thankfully not of the military kind it can be as gruelling and has to be planned as though it were.
Our campaign front is the community of Zenzele – an informal settlement not 500 metres from Oliver’s Village, our flagship project. There are 3500 residents in this community and our objective is to provide each of them with at least one blanket every winter. The truth of the matter is we don’t really know how many residents there are in this community. There is no local authority we can approach to ask for demographic or census statistics. We estimate that there are 3500 residents and this number is derived from our 12 years of involvement with this community.
So each year, come March, we sit down and plan our winter campaign and we agree on our objectives:
- Distribute 3500 blankets
- Distribute 100 food hampers to the most impoverished families each month
- Manage a daily soup kitchen to feed 100 families
Then September comes and as the chill of winter fades so our campaign ends and we look back to measure the success or failure of our campaign. So how did we do this winter?
- We distributed 3270 blankets
- We distributed more than 100 food hampers per month – except for August (21 food hampers)
- Our soup kitchen was open every day serving more than 100 meals per day
Although we didn’t achieve all our objectives we came very close – but still no cigar. We will take all the experiences of our 2013 winter campaign, combine them with those of the previous years, and apply them to our 2014 campaign and try even harder to achieve all our objectives. Our sponsors and partners demand it and our beneficiaries deserve it.