Feed Our Crew initiative gains momentum
Tuesday, 5 May 2020
robe-feed-our-crewFeed Our Crew volunteers work every day to collate and process all the applications (photo: Tamsyn Strydom, MGG Productions)
South Africa - Feed Our Crew, the South African fundraising initiative for freelance live event technicians, has received hundreds of applications as well as generous support from companies and individuals in the two weeks since it was launched.
Feed Our Crew, working in collaboration with People4Purpose, offers financial support to out-of-work crew through donations and was launched in response to slow state emergency funding payments.
Donations are converted into 1000.00 ZAR vouchers (around £50), which are distributed to qualifying recipients via their mobile phones. This is calculated to provide enough funding to support a family’s fundamental needs for a month.
The vouchers are redeemable at the major retailers ShopRite / Checkers and can be used to buy groceries, medication plus other essential utilities.
DWR Distribution has been one of the key sponsors of the campaign, together with equipment rental production companies including MGG and Blackmotion and many individuals.
Feed Our Crew volunteers work every day to collate and process all the applications and manage the database, while the voucher distribution is coordinated by the People4Purpose team. The first 160 vouchers have just been dispatched.
The story
Feed Our Crew is an NGO initiative co-founded by Johannesburg-based Tamsyn Strydom (project manager from production and rental company MGG), Kagiso ‘KG’ Moima Wa Masimini, who owns Blackmotion Production, and Marcia Alves from We Are Boundless.
Feed Our Crew’s Daria Higgins, who runs events company True North, comments: “There has been an immediate and devastating impact on the show and event industry across South Africa, and freelancers – the often invisible backbone of that usually vibrant industry - are particularly badly hit.”
The story began when public events in South Africa started getting cancelled across the country in early March, soon followed by a nationwide lockdown which remains in place.
KG started drafting a letter to the president’s office to highlight how dramatically the entertainment industry has been affected by the pandemic and the consequential shutdown, while Johannesburg-based artist management and booking agency, About Entertainment, campaigned for videos and messages of support from local and artist celebrities that could be used to encourage donations.
As these videos started flowing, more people joined the conversation, including technical manager Marcia Alves. As the need to for more action on the ground became glaringly obvious, Tamsyn, KG and Marcia founded Feed Our Crew together with the assistance of several others.
Anyone meeting the criteria can apply for assistance, but the aim is to reach the most vulnerable of those who have been working across all the technical disciplines – lighting, audio, rigging, stage and set building, SFX, and so on.
As word spread about Feed Our Crew, a Facebook page and website were established on 16 April. By the Friday of that week, the first donation had landed, they had partnered with People4Purpose led by Landy Yeatman who is also from the event industry and the plan was being activated.
How to apply & donate
Applicants can apply through the website or Facebook page by completing a form, submit their ID and two references to verify their recent engagements in the events world.
To donate, visit www.feedourcrew.co.za and click the ‘donate’ button or email the team at help@feedourcrew.co.za
(Jim Evans)

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