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An actual solution to poverty      


There is no magic button to push in solving poverty. No political party or NGO has the ability to solve it, despite our votes and donations, and despite their promises and good intentions. It is up to us, the individuals, the ordinary, everyday, garden variety people to step into the fight against poverty. To form, and hold, the thin red line of Ubuntu around the vulnerable amongst us. 


So, how do we solve poverty? Simple. Build an Ubuntu Chain. 


An Ubuntu Chain is the most effective way for you, as an individual, to reach out, and to support members of vulnerable communities. It is a direct, no nonsense approach to fighting poverty, destroying division and building community. It takes the responsibility back from the politicians. it cuts out the NGO middlemen. It creates connection, community, understanding. It is not charity. or benevolence. It offers real support, and fosters dignity and independence. It is sustainable, scaleable and repeatable. It is a choice, and it's freely available to us all. 


An Ubuntu Chain is an incredibly simple mechanism. As members of a more fortunate socio-economic class, we have the capacity to offer financial assistance to the vulnerable, especially during times of crisis, when giving is essential, and the vulnerable are most exposed. During times of crisis, we give unreservedly. During more sedate, domestic times, we also have the capacity to offer our time, our skills, our support, our love, ourselves to the families in our Ubuntu Chain. The same is true of the vulnerable families, for this is not a one-way relationship. The vulnerable also have time, and skills, and support, and love to offer. They have their unique, incredibly interesting selves to offer. An Ubuntu Chain, is a two-way street.

To create an Ubuntu Chain, we need to leave our comfort zones, and introduce ourselves to the people living on the other side of the road, on the other side of the river, on the other side of the socio-economic divide, on the other side of our fears. It's time to meet. It's time to meet for coffee, for chats, for picnics, for birthdays, for walks. It's time to create a WhatsApp group, swap recipes, share stories, ask for help, and offer help. And during times of crisis, step forward and offer financial support to our Ubuntu Chain, as it is during times of crisis that the vulnerable truly suffer.


An Ubuntu Chain is compassion, and compassion builds community. Without it, the poverty will grow. The frustration will grow. The division will grow. Trust me, it's happening. But, and it's a big, juicy but, through weight of numbers, by all stepping up, and by all creating an Ubuntu Chain, we will solve poverty and division. Bold words, but possible, with collective action. Possible if we all take our position in the thin red line. It is our birth right. It is our responsibility. The poverty is ours. It happens to our brothers and sisters. I am because we are. We need to fight. We must step forward and support our brothers and sisters. I am Ubuntu Army. You are Ubuntu Army.

Many look for the magic button, for the politicians and NGOs to ease the suffering of the poor. This has never worked, and it never will. Their agendas aren't based in love, although often they appear to be. They are based on greed, on business plans, on efficiency, on brand, on power, but never on love.There is no other way. It is up to us. To not simply give, and to walk away, but to meet, to chat, and to give what is necessary, when appropriate. 

Join the Compassion Revolution and build an Ubuntu Chain! 





So, how do you build an Ubuntu Chain? To set up an Ubuntu Chain, you will need to do four things.

An Ubuntu Link becomes an Ubuntu Chain

We are all friends with one vulnerable person. If you aren't, introduce yourself to a minimum wage worker, to a grandmother caring for her grand children, to an unemployed person at the traffic lights, at your gate, to a car guard or grocery packer, to a security guard or petrol attendant. This person is your link, your Ubuntu Link, into the world of vulnerability. Take them for a coffee and chat. Get to know them. Allow them in. It's mostly non linear. It can be messy and confusing at first, but as you get to know each other, the mistrust and discomfort disappears, and relationship will form.


Building a relationship is essential to the fight against poverty, in that, an authentic relationship, while not guaranteed, will reduce the mistrust, greed and apprehension that accompanies giving and receiving financial assistance. It reduces the abuse attached to financial kindness. An authentic relationship allows both of you to flag, and chat through, issues around financial assistance. An honest relationship allows for perspective. It allows both of you a glimpse into the reality of each other's worlds. We are oftenexcluded from the experience of poverty by our high walls, our gated communities, our politics, our neighbourhood watch, by our privilege.


It is earth shattering to witness and experience the level of poverty that many of our neighbours experience. This experience will change you. Irreversible and evolved, the change opens your heart, and from there, we begin to operate in gratitude, in care, in humility. These are the building blocks to happiness and joy. Who knew, that facing poverty is actually really good for us, and makes our lives better? 


Ask the person to create a list of other vulnerable people in their community. You will need to take their guidance in creating the list, and until you have met everyone, a degree of trust is required. 

It is a good idea to create a chain of around 5 households (10 to 20 people), in order to ensure that you are all able to create a degree of intimacy, and that during periods of crisis you have the financial capacity to support them if neccessary. You are not the bank, and its essential to take that ethos into the  



 5 to 10 10 people or families, This will give you an idea of the number of people or families that need help.

It is a good idea to limit the number of parcels, to make the operation manageable and sustainable. Perhaps start with 20 or 30 parcels. 

Raise Funds

Launch an appeal for donations amongst friends, family, work colleagues and social groups. A staple food parcel costs R180, although larger parcels are recommended so that you are able to create food security for a longer period, and so that you avoid multiple parcel drops.

Examples of food parcels  can be found  on the resources page. 

Donations can be made directly into your bank account, with a description, showing that it is a donation. This will allow you to track the contributions at your next tax return.


Hit the Shops

 Once you have raised the funds needed, head to the shops or buy online and have the items delivered to your house. Food parcel breakdowns can be found in the resources sectionPack your food parcels so that they are easy to carry for a single person. 

Vouchers are another option, can be purchased from most grocery stores, and can be sent as a message to the phones of the people on your contact list. Vouchers have been abused on the black market, but every system has its pitfalls. 


Arrange to meet your contact person, and the people on your list, at a neutral location. This will ensure that you limit the amount of attention that the distribution can create. The parking lot of a shopping centre, near the vulnerable community is a good bet, for smaller Food Chains, although open ground, away from crowds is better for larger drops. Take the advice of your contact  with regards to choosing a location and ensure that your contact has a clear list of all those who are to receive to avoid any drama from strangers. 

Trust your gut throughout thi.

Remember, you can't help everyone, and for your safety and the safety of your people, don't try to.  A single, distribution of larger parcels is preferable to multiple, smaller drops, to reduce logistics and exposure, and to ensure a greater degree of food security.

Please post a report and photos of your distribution on the  Ubuntu Army Facebook Group page. 



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