“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others”, Mahatma Gandhi
Chow4Change is a collaboration between New Acropolis, the Sub-Unit for Displaced Persons in Johannesburg, several other NGOs and private companies. Nearly a hundred volunteers met at the beginning of September in Braamfontein for the delivery of food, clothing and medical assistance to two hundred and ninety homeless people living in the streets of the Central Business District in Johannesburg.
The clothes were distributed by the ‘Exchange Store’, where assistants helped people find what they needed. All clothing is pre-classified and examined to make sure that it is clean and in good condition. Packages with toiletries were delivered, and showers were set up for grooming before lunch. The clinic conducted both HIV and TB screenings, and also evaluated patients for serious medical problems to set up appointments for any other conditions requiring treatment. There were drug rehabilitation counselors to provide information about the available programs. Finally, people could go to ‘Help Portrait’ photographers, and obtain a free portrait and ID photos, passport, etc.