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Lockdown in Ottery

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From Langa to Clifton from Alexandra to Sandton, will be sharing people’s experiences of lockdown in their neighbourhoods. Domestic worker and Ottery resident Lauren Juries tells us about lockdown in Ottery.

My name is Lauren. Ottery is my home. My husband, two boys and I live with my parents, as well as my sister and nephew. Both my mom and I work part-time as domestic workers for families in the southern suburbs.

This suits me well as I’m able to spend time with my family and two boys. We’re a fairly typical Ottery family of eight in a 2-bedroom flat. 

When #LockdownSA started, I was pretty easy with the situation. My dad’s a pensioner and my husband is still working, although he’s on half pay. My mom and I are both at home now with the kids.

Picture: OtteryCAN!

Then I noticed kids on the street asking for money to buy food.

Over the days, the effect of lockdown on my neighbours and friends has become more obvious. People are struggling to get to the next day without food. They can’t even go out and ask people for help! 

Picture: OtteryCAN!

It’s not uncommon to find a family of 13 people living under one roof. Children are not doing schoolwork; they’re not staying indoors. For starters, there are too many in a small space and there’s not enough for them to do. They’re bored. And hungry.

The other day, I sent my thirteen year old son to the queue to get food. He was threatened by another boy who tried to stab him with a knife in his chest. Thankfully his cousin intervened and he was safe. These kids have this gangsterism side in them, made worse by this new lockdown life.

Picture: OtteryCAN!

God opened up to me that I must do something to help my community. Struck by the real impact of lockdown on the underprivileged people in our community, my employer and I started a Community Action Network (CAN!) group for Ottery. 

Picture: OtteryCAN!

As a mother I always had a dream of helping people in my community but never knew how to begin. 

My heart goes out to the kids here that get a meal from the soup kitchen but when they go home there’s nothing to eat. OtteryCAN! acts as the go-between the public and Ottery families, campaigning for food parcels, vouchers and prepaid electricity. 

Visit our Facebook or campaign page for ways to help Hands of Honour.

A month ago, I wouldn’t have supposed that I’d be campaigning for my community. Being able to help my community is the greatest joy, an unexpected side effect of the lockdown! Please support me to get my community through lockdown. Help a family. #OtteryCAN! 

* If you have a lockdown story to share from your hood please share.

Better still if you have a way our followers can reach out to organisations helping the poorer and more vulnerable communities in need please let us know.

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