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Ruben Niyogeshimi, a car guard in Joburg, gets help from good Samaritans

Terence and Nicola Whitehead were touched by Niyogeshimi's desperate plea for help and they've stepped in to lessen the financial burden, at least for now.

Ruben Niyogeshimi, his wife and one of their two children. Picture: Supplied

JOHANNESBURG - With millions of South Africans now confined to their homes for three weeks, hundreds of thousands of people are relying on good Samaritans and NGOS to help them survive the uncertain period of COVID-19 lockdown.

On Thursday, Eyewitness News reported on a car guard from Burundi who desperately wanted to go home, fearing he wouldn't survive the lockdown without any form of income.

A couple has since come forward donating money to help with his immediate financial needs.

Ruben Niyogeshimi is a car guard in northern Johannesburg.

His face lights up as he talks about the good Samaritans who've donated money to him and his young family.

“Thank you so much, that you so much my parents. May God bless you; may He add more to what you have. My wife doesn’t work, my work is here and now we don’t have any salary because we depend on customers.”

Niyogeshimi now calls the couple his parents, saying at least now he can pay the rent and buy enough food to survive the next three weeks.

It’s the second time he's cried in an interview with EWN but this time, his tears are due to the generosity of others.

On Thursday, he was sitting on the pavement, worried about how he would find the money to keep his wife and two children fed during the lockdown without any income.

Terence and Nicola Whitehead were touched by Niyogeshimi's desperate plea for help and they've stepped in to lessen the financial burden, at least for now.

“It’s times like these when one realises that the smallest thing you can do for somebody who had nothing can mean the world to them. My husband asked if everyone can just help one person through this terrible time that we’re all going through.”

Meanwhile, NGO SA Harvest is hoping to continue feeding the homeless and the most vulnerable during this lockdown but is relying on donations.

South Africans have been urged to help those in need during this time.

SA Harvest's Gidon Novick said: “Our estimate is that there are at least 5,000 people on the streets that will need food and our goal is to make sure that no one goes hungry. We operate in Cape Town and Joburg at the moment and in time, we are going to extend that throughout the country.”

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