Locals supporting #iCanHelp campaign for medical staff

 

ON THE FRONTLINES: Dr Craig Parker wearing protective gear that was donated by East London locals to
assist in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic Picture: SUPPLIED

Newly established East London- based campaign #iCanHelp is working hard to help community members during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Campaign organiser Lisa Van
Wyk said #iCanHelp was first established on March 19 after she came across a Facebook post by Dr Craig Parker looking for donations for a project he was working on with a team of fellow doctors and engineers, titled Umoya .

The project aimed to create a prototype for a new kind of breathing apparatus for local
hospitals.

“I came across this [Parker’s post] and loved the ingenuity of our local community and the
proactive nature of our doctors. I then contacted him to ask him more about the project and suggested that I put a post on social media platforms, to see if we can get a positive response,” Van Wyk said.

“A few days later, Dr Parker got hold of me and asked if I would assist him and his team of
doctors in setting up a platform to assist with mobilising the greater East London community to assist the medical frontliners to secure sufficient equipment for the potential Covid-19 influx.

“That is how the #iCanHelp campaign started.” Van Wyk said the main inspiration of the
campaign was to help medical workers on the frontlines of the struggle against Covid-19, while also providing a platform for members of the community to get involved.

“We are all in this together and we will need everyone to get involved and help in some way,” Van Wyk said.

Speaking to The GO!, she said the Buffalo City community’s response had been amazing.

“The privilege of this responsibility has shown me that locals are kind, generous, willing
to step up, add value and support each other. From the first call for regulators, 3D printers and pneumatic experts for the Umoya Project, to the army of women sewing masks for our
medical staff as we support the #masks4all campaign, to the donation of non-perishable items for the nurses, security and cleaning staff tea rooms, to the donation of products and
services from local businesses to help with PPE, East London folk have truly stepped up.

“We are humbled by the volume and willingness to get involved and help. “Thank you East London and Buffalo City residents, you truly are amazing.”

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