Cape Town photographer raises nearly R500k to help feed the needy during lockdown

The photographer has raised money for the needy.
The photographer has raised money for the needy.
Image: Aron Hyman

Cape Town photographer and videographer, Chad Nathan has raised nearly R500,000 to help feed hundreds of the city’s most vulnerable.

When President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that SA would be under hard lockdown nearly two months ago, Nathan sought a permit to document the historic moment by taking pictures and videos, which he supplies to a local publication.

A week into the project, its course changed dramatically when he learnt of the devastating effects the lockdown had on the poor.

“I never went in saying I would raise half a million, but within the first week of seeing how intense this lockdown was and how devastating it was for some of our fellow South Africans, I knew at the back of my head that I could do more than just take pictures of these people and hear their stories.” Nathan said.

He started a Back-a-Buddy crowdfunding campaign, 'Raising Hope', initially aiming to raise R100,000. He said the amount seemed like a lot since many have lost jobs or taken salary cuts due to the struggling economy.

Two days after starting the campaign, it had raised an unexpected R150,000 as local and international donors chipped in. By Tuesday evening, nearly R430,000 had been raised.

“It’s not only South Africans but I’ve got a large amount of followers from America, Israel and Australia. At least between 30% and 40% of those donations are from overseas, so I’m happy to say that I brought in an international audience and that people want to give,” he said.

Over half of the proceeds have already been allocated to various charities.

With demand for relief increasing, organisations from all over the country continue to reach out for help.

“Raising Hope all of a sudden became an umbrella for all the other small charities. To this day, people are contacting me for support. A lady in Mpumalanga called and others from KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng have also asked for food vouchers,” he said.

Nathan acknowledged that the poor need not only food but also masks and sanitisers to prevent the spread of Covid-19, but said his main priority is alleviating hunger.

He wants to expand Raising Hope and continue its work beyond the pandemic.

“I want to continue because the economy is crippled and thousands have lost jobs and putting food on the table will be a basic need. It will be the biggest thing that SA will suffer from, and I want Raising Hope to be more than a coronavirus care fundraiser.”

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