Lets feed J-Bay: In einem Land, in dem es für die meisten Menschen keine Sozialhilfe gibt, gesellt sich zur Gefahr durch das Virus ein noch viel mächtigerer Feind: der Hunger!

Pics: Toby Schröder

Ein Großteil der Einwohner J-Bays, vor allem die Einwohner der nahe gelegenen Townships, die wir nicht aus unseren Besuchen im Surfparadies kennen, sind besonders gefährdet. Viele von ihnen haben als Tagelöhner im Surftourismus ihre Brötchen verdient und sind nun seid Wochen erwerbslos. Dass dies in deren Fällen nicht heißt, dass sie nun ihr Festgeldkonto leeren können erklärt sich von selbst. Viele Menschen dort sind absolut mittellos und leiden Hunger. Einige junge Surfer haben diesen absoluten Notstand erkannt und in in Rekordzeit einen Hilfsfond eingerichtet, mit dem sie ihre Communtiy sprichwörtlich vor dem Hungertod bewahren wollen. Unter dem Namen Lets Feed J-Bay haben Toby Schröder, Remi Petersen, Chokka Tharms und ihre Freunde eine Funding Page eingerichtet, auf der sie Spenden für Essen sammeln, dass sie danach in den Townships verteilen. Wir haben mit Toby gesprochen und ihn zur Situation vor Ort befragt.


Hey Tobi, please describe the Situation in J-Bay!

The situation is tough like everywhere in the world. We don’t have any confirmed COVID19 cases in Jbay but in surrounding areas. The lockdown resulted in most people not getting a cent from their employer thus people are hungry. The economy is crashing this leaving people unemployed and unpaid. Lots of families living in small 3x3m shacks with families of 4 or more. They locked inside and only allowed to go out for grocery shopping. Obviously with them not having an income they cant even go to buy groceries.

“Surfers J-Bay” looks like Disneyland. What does the real J-Bay look like?

It is rough. The townships are tough. So many people in a small area, all congested in small shacks. The amazing thing is usually you’ll still see a lot of happy faces walking around in spite of all the hardship… we wanna do our bit to put those smiles back !!!

J-Bay Township
Das ist J-Bays anderes Gesicht. Auch wir haben das bei unserem Besuch im Surfmekka nicht zu Gesicht bekommen.

Since 40 days the people remain without any income. Which people are the most at risk?

The people that live hand to mouth. Lots of people don’t work daily, they get odd jobs here and there. This means they dont always have money. It is already so hard for them without the lockdown and now with the middle class being hit, they don’t have the financial means to pay their cleaners, staff, gardeners etc. It’s a whole micro economy that stops. Its part of why international money is so important here, if we can keep the farmers and shops in business then at least there will be some employment to go around… that will be a message for later, but this needs to also help build the future.

J-Bay Food delivery
Eine Mutter mit Kind im Township mit ihrem Essenspaket.

So whats more dangerous for Southafrica: the poverty or the virus?

The Virus is horrible and so sad. The poverty is worse though. Many have said they rather go out and die with the virus than from starvation. Also, remember that you can do a lot about trying to keep yourself from getting the virus, but if you cant work and are not allowed out, you cant stop yourself from starvation…

J-Bay Hungry
Den meisten von dürfe dieses Gefühl zum Glück fremd sein. Dennoch ist Unterernährung nach wie vor eine der häufigsten Todesursachen der Welt. Jährlich sterben 9 Millionen Menschen daran.

You, Remy, Chokka Tharms and other J-Bay Locals started the project “Lets feed J-Bay”. When did you come up with the idea?

Bassically we have one really tight friend group here in J-Bay. One of the guys (Chokka Trahms) is assisting the Local police during the lock down and 6 days ago sent a message in our group that things were looking impossibly grim and he wanted to hear our take on starting a non-profit. Remi, Dylan and I together with Chokka had sent everything in motion by the next day. The rest of our mates and a few others have been helping out hands on with the idea, with some work, has taken off.

Lets feed J-Bay
Die Jungs verteilen die Essenspakete direkt in den Townships.

Lets feed J-Bay: Remy adressed a lot of Surfpros very directly and literally required them to donate. Why do you see the Pro´s particulary in duty to contribute?

We are lucky that we all bring something unique to the table but also have something that Unifi’s not only our group, but also us to the world. Jeffreys Bay has, I dare say, given every surfer, from amateur to pro, an experience they’ll never forget. This is why the surf community is getting behind our town during these unprecedented times. We all wanna surf Jbay again one day…

Lets feed J-Bay: Where is the project aiming at, what are you guys doing with the donations?

We are aware that most non profits being set up for the health care industry, in SA and globally. This is very understandable, but where as most people in 1st world countries have some savings or financial backing (although might not be much) its different here. Here, a more dangerous and imminent threat then the virus is a starvation pandemic. So our goal is to make sure that every one deserves to eat. The government is doing what they can to support the healthcare system but they don’t have enough resources to fund the poor with food, that became our job now.

Are there similiar projects like yours in South Africa? Did you think about to expand your project to other towns?

It’s hard to say, 6 day ago we wanted to help feed a few families, but as you grow, you hear about the demand and you feel a need to expand if your platform puts you in such a position… in saying that, we are looking at bigger company donors to see if this fund can really take off and keep rolling, if that does become the case we will do what we can to spread the awareness and funding needed throughout our country. But for that, we’ll need all the support we can get…

Wenn ihr das Projekt von Toby und seinen Freunden unterstützen wollt, könnt ihr das auf ihrer Funding Page machen. 

Mehr über Toby erfahrt ihr hier: https://dev.primesports.de/lasst-uns-ueber-mozambique-sprechen-pid43317/