Feeding children. Bringing hope.
I work with a charity called Africa Food for Thought. This blog is an attempt to highlight the work AFFT does and lay the foundation for a couple of posts I'm planning on the effects of malnutrition.
AFFT works towards food security for children in support of education and helps more than 18 000 children to the west of Johannesburg in South Africa. We believe education is the key to children breaking the cycle of poverty. And we know that it is impossible to concentrate or learn on an empty stomach.
According to the Children’s Institute at UCT the effects of poor nutrition on children are far-reaching. It is estimated that more than 200 million children under five years globally will not realise their full cognitive development due to poverty, lack of proper care, poor health and inadequate nutrition. Research suggests that poor nutrition affects the educational outcomes of children, adult working capacity and economic productivity.
In Johannesburg, 43% of the poor face starvation and malnutrition. Researchers believe the figure could be higher and every day thousands of children go hungry.
We have three major programmes.
We support 15 schools feeding programmes. In most of these schools, the Department of Education supplies the staples. We add fresh vegetables and step in when a delivery is late. The majority of these schools will have an average of 1500 learners, of which about a 1 000 will make use of this programme.
Impact of the programme
- Children attend school more often and more faithfully where meals are provided.
- Learners are more attentive in class and can concentrate better.
- This is the start of our relationship with a school enabling us to partner with them in other programmes.
We currently support 25 creches in informal settlements. These creches are owned by entrepreneurial ladies who fulfil a vital role in the communities they serve.
The children are in a crucial developmental phase. Proper nutrition and age-appropriate activities are vitally important. Too many children show up for Grade 1 completely unprepared.
- Our support firstly provides a creche with four meals every day (breakfast, lunch, 2 snack times). This includes fruit and the best nutrition for the budget available as purchased and researched by Sizani Foods.
- We equip the kitchens and provide gas for the stoves. Electricity is mostly unavailable or unaffordable.
- Over time we also find sponsorship to upgrade the facilities. Fences provide security. Toilets where possible. Sometimes chemical toilets. Playground equipment or an extra classroom. The need varies from creche to creche. And every improvement helps to move the creche towards registration and a resulting subsidy from the government.
Impact of the programme
- Proper nutrition provided in a very important developmental phase.
- Providing security upgrades to keep children safe.
- Equipping of teachers to employ age-appropriate activities preparing children for school.
- Upgrading of facilities in whatever way local infrastructure allows.
- Developing the crèche owner’s business to a next level.
3. Orphaned and vulnerable children (OVC)
Early in our journey with the schools, we discovered children who were in extremely desperate circumstances at home. It gave birth to our OVC Programme that now supports 125 families.
Teachers identify children in need of extra support. We investigate their circumstances and adopt those that qualify for the programme. The family is assigned to a volunteer who visits them once a month at home with a food delivery. This delivery contains enough food to sustain the whole family for a whole month.
A parent, grandparent or foster parent sign an agreement with us to make every effort to support the sponsored child in his or her studies. The sponsored child signs a similar agreement committing himself or herself to attend school faithfully and study hard. The school is made aware of our involvement and will often contact us if the child’s attendance slips or marks go down.
Over time our volunteers develop very strong relationships with the families they serve. They look at every report card and celebrate every bit of progress with the children. The result is a strong sense of the child’s potential and we now have a bursary programme that helps children further their studies or training after school.
Impact of the programme
- Children in the most difficult circumstances get food security, not just a handout every now and then.
- A partnership with teachers and the whole family keeps such a child motivated to study.
- We become part of the child’s extended family, providing motivation and support to do their best.
We need to take care of our children!
It is not political. It is not some grand scheme to eradicate poverty. It is not to give back. It is not the current in-thing to do.
It is because tonight thousands of children will go to bed hungry. Not as a result of their choices or inaction. But because they are children in circumstances about which they can do nothing.
And as a result, they will grow less, learn less and hope less. And we will all be less…
Do whatever you can! Do everything you can!
(All photos of the actual children we support as posted on our Facebook page. Permission obtained in writing from children, schools and parents.
You guys are blessing from Heaven. I hope this article will reach other organizations around the world.
Resteemed and upvoted. Kryptonia username: @riyuwe
You should create an account on Kryptonia for the charity and people can donate by gifting SuperiorCoin on the site. The account has a wallet address and people can send coins that way as well.
From Kryptonia @colin_sydes
Thank you @sydesjokes. Did not know this. I'll investigate.
Praise be to God! Please keep reaching and helping them! May the Lord lead and Bless you more!
-Krypt ID: @josephlacsamana
Thank you @josephlacsamana. Appreciate the encouragement.
children are our future. we need to protect them and help them as much as we possibly can. kryptonia bojak_cates
wow.. God bless all of you guys! I can feel the passion that you have because I grew up in the orphanage as well. God bless you all indeed! Your labour is not in vain :)
Done upvoted, resteem and followed you as well. My kryptonia id is @gracealone
Thank you @gracealone for the encouragement. I followed you back.
Wonderful work you are doing. My (late) sister at a time run the feeding scheme in Petrusburg at the school there. It was taken over by other people later on. It is so sad to think that there is children going hungry. I pray that you will have enough funds to continue your work. God bless!
Thank you @hope777. I receive.
wow! you have a very big heart, I really like what your projects. God will bless you more! from kryptonia @reatimtim
Thank you @reatimtim
I like the idea of giving locally and in a place where you can see the results of your efforts. I am not in favor of giving to the big guys and then you never know what happens with your money. Good for you, @reonlouw - I will look out for your posts on this needed effort.
Are you connected with @schoolforsdg4 here? He has a similar effort in Bangladesh.
I'm coming to you from @kryptonia with the same user name. It's Sunday @kryptonia re-steeming day for me and you are a part of that :)
Thank you @fitinfun.
I agree that you need to be involved with your money. I have very little interest in paying a big faceless organisation to do a little good somewhere far away.
I have followed @schoolforsdg4 and will discover more as time goes on. Thank you.
The things your community is doing are worth it, hildren deserve the best in the world, God bless you!
from kryptonia @ziggy
Thank you @ziggy
Great post. May the Lord bless you more
Kryptonia I'd duquejunalyn
Indeed! poverty is the main cause of lack nutrition of our children and you guys did an awesome move to defeat this issue. Great job guys!
from jason21 of kryptonia
Working with people in need is a daily event in our lives now @reonlouw so many arrive looking for food, water or clothing.
Now going into winter it is good to know the children are being helped at school where it really is needed.
Thank you @joanstewart.
It can be a daunting task. Are these people just showing up at your house or business?
Feeding is one of the noblest acts. I salute to those who have the hearts in doing this act. Upvoted read and resteemed by rubelynmacion of krypto
What a wonderful thing you are doing - may you and all the kids be blessed - resteeming
It's brilliant what you're doing, keep up the good work and I'm from Kryptonia @ianstevenson
Thank you @ianstevenson!
Wow! You have a great program for others. To help person with all you're heart is the best. It brings joy to you, specially to whom you helped.
Great work. This is truly awesome
Thank you @ammyluv!
I think poverty is the lack of humanity. You are an inspiration.
We applaud you for building a better africa.
Colin Sydes tweeted @ 25 Mar 2018 - 17:34 UTC
Disclaimer: I am just a bot trying to be helpful.
I love post and the pictures too are great. @grace234
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Thank you @christiano199!
thanks for sharing
My kryptonia id is iulianpatache
Most interesting post, kryptonia id @ofili2
Very interesting post, keep it up. Kryptonia id @chetachi26
may u bless ,, keep on the good work you are doing your reward is forthcoming from God from kryptonia @everdope
Its a great thing to help the hungry and starving children...please keep on the good work....may you continue to enjoy God's blessings....
Greater work, God bless the foundation, comment and Upvote from kryptonia @jacobzeema
God is truly with you in your work with these disadvantaged children.