‘I’m astonished that God loves me so much’

Lockdown in South Africa has left many families with no money or food – meaning significant numbers of people with HIV and TB have found themselves in urgent need of emergency food support.

This is crucial because malnutrition weakens the ability of patients with TB to fight the disease, and adequate nutrition is critical to the success of vital HIV antiretroviral therapy.

Thandie is a single mother who cares for six children. Four are her own and two are the children of her sister, who died of AIDS two years ago.

Before lockdown she did casual domestic work, but now she has no income or way to afford enough food. The family’s caregiver, Hebini, was able to spare her a half kilo of samp which she supplemented by foraging for wild plants.

So when Pastor Leonard arrived with the equivalent of two food parcels, she was left speechless with surprise. The parcel included 10kg maize, 5kg beans, 7kg potatoes, 2 litres of oil – and bananas from the church garden.

You would cry seeing the joy of the children when we supplied bananas,’ said Pastor Leonard.

Thandiwe wept at this provision, saying: ‘I’m astonished that God loves me so much. May God bless you and meet your needs. You’re such a blessing to my family.’

Thandiwe’s family – alongside another 150 clinic patient families (up to 900 people) – are now receiving life-saving food parcels, thanks to our supporters.

Vital HIV and TB medication should not be taken on an empty stomach. That’s why it’s crucial that we get more food parcels to the poorest. Each parcel only costs £7.50. 

To help fund more emergency food support, please click here.

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