DURBAN – As businesses count the costs of the unrest which rocked parts of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng last month, humanitarian volunteers Fatima Sookharia and Azhar Vadi believe humanitarian aid strategies need to be reinvented.
Inayet Wadee spoke to Azhar Vadi, Director and co-founder of the Salaam Foundation, on News & Views. Watch the full discussion here.
Vadi, who just returned from an aid mission to KwaZulu-Natal on behalf of the Salaam Foundation, argued that conventional humanitarian aid strategies lack sustainability in the long term. Instead, he said, NGOs need to find sustainable strategies which uplift entrepreneurs and individuals for the long term.
“The NGO can look at smaller businesses – those who may have not been registered fully – and reignite these businesses. Get them going; give them starting capital. If we restart businesses again, I believe we’ll be making a greater impact,” he said.
In a feedback report, the organisation’s Fatima Sookharia wrote that growing lines for basic necessities bring “no sense of achievement”. She wrote: “While there is a space and need for a strategy that involves people standing in lines for packets of staple needs, it is no sense of achievement if we see these lines getting longer and longer with each passing year.”
“Perhaps a mixed strategy of assisting destroyed businesses to restart while providing immediate hamper relief for a short period will result in the money spent turning into a greater return on investment. Multiplying the benefit of people’s money and rewards in the hereafter is what we seek to do,” she added.
Sookharia confirmed that the Foundation has opted to channel funds towards business support “instead of trying to fulfill the never-ending needs of people standing in food hamper queues”. This, she said, is also being done alongside their food hamper project in KZN.
Watch the full interview here: