Following President, Cyril Ramaphosa announcement that SA would be under lockdown nearly two months ago, Cape Town photographer and videographer, Chad Nathan sought a permit to take pictures and videos and supplying them 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,” said Nathan.
He started a Back-a-Buddy crowdfunding campaign, ‘Raising Hope’, initially aiming to raise R100,000. He has successfully raised nearly R500,000 to help feed hundreds of the city’s most vulnerable communities. “It’s not only South Africans but I’ve got a large number 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 added.
“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,” said Nathan.
Two days after starting the campaign, it had raised an unexpected R150,000 as local and international donors chipped in. Over half of the proceeds have already been allocated to various charities. Nathan said the amount seemed like a lot since many have lost jobs or taken salary cuts due to the struggling economy.
He hopes 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,” concluded Nathan.