Recent widespread flooding destroyed roads and buildings and left thousands of families without homes or livelihoods in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
Now a new donation from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will help more than 8,700 households obtain relief.
The Church donated 15 million South African Rands — about $1 million in U.S. dollars — to the Department of Social Development on Friday, June 17, reported the Church’s Africa Newsroom.
The next day, local Church leaders delivered meat, vegetables, fruits, detergents, toiletries, baby formula, toys, gas canisters and other necessities to a local church where flooding victims have been staying.
Phillip Moatlhodi, who leads the Church’s humanitarian efforts in the Africa South Area, said that the Church stands ready to assist with building materials, food and other necessities.
Elder Edward Dube, General Authority Seventy and member of the Africa South Area Presidency, extended his heartfelt sympathies to the families and communities that have been impacted by the floods.
“Our thoughts and prayers reach out to those who have suffered because of these devastating natural disasters,” he said. “We mourn with those who have lost their loved ones and extend our sincere condolences to them.”
The Church has collaborated with local foundations to provide further disaster relief in response to the floods.
The nonprofit organization, Action Development Agency, reported that the floods rendered 6,900 people homeless and affected more than 85,000 people in the province.
Almost two months after the floods, Happiness Vidimela, her husband and their three children are still living in a temporary shelter with 50 other people.
The day of the floods, Vidimela said she could see from her window how shacks near the river were being swept away.
“I then said a short prayer in my heart asking God to protect me and my children, unaware that I too was in trouble. Several shacks were about to collapse and tumble on ours,” she said.
They safely made it out of their home with nothing but the clothes on their backs. Africa Newsroom reported that the news of the disaster relief donation from the Church brought Vidimela visible excitement.
“I have no words. I just have an overwhelming feeling of gratitude and peace that the Lord had not forgotten us,” she said.
Zandile Sigwebela said the Church’s donation had taken a weight off her shoulders.
“I can finally eat and sleep, knowing that all those that were affected by the floods will be well taken care of,” Sigwebela explained.