Dedicated staff at non-profit organisations across the country work hard to serve the community’s youth. In a country where hunger and poor nutrition pose a major risk to the health, wellbeing and education of millions of children, the resounding message from people like Lerato Moyo, a lifeskills facilitator for NPO Afrika Tikkun, is clear – hungry children struggle to learn, grow and thrive.
Afrika Tikkun is one of 137 organisations supported by Add Hope, with funds raised through KFC customer donations as well the company’s own Corporate Social Responsibility contribution to fund sustainable feeding schemes.
Lerato works at the Afrika Tikkun Uthando Youth Centre in Braamfontein, a centre which provides education, health and social services to children, young adults and their families.
She has been dedicated to this community for the past six years and she is passionate about teaching and changing the lives of young people.
When children in the Braamfontein area come to the centre after school, they get support, warmth and coaching from facilitators like Lerato – and a meal for the day funded by Add Hope that will make their lives just a little easier.
“Hunger is really a huge issue here in our community,” says Lerato. “Most of the children who come here are from disadvantaged families. They live in poverty in Hillbrow and when they do go to school, they don’t get a meal. Their first meal of the day is the one they eat after school, here at Uthando.”
As a teacher at the centre, Lerato is really able to see and experience the benefits of the feeding scheme funded by Add Hope and the impact it has on the lives of these children.
She says, “When the children arrive hungry, it is very difficult to work with them. Then after lunch, they are able to concentrate so beautifully and fully participate in the activities. A meal does so much more than just fill their tummies, it builds their self-esteem, it actually builds their confidence and it helps them relate well to other people.”
Another key benefit is that the meal brings the children into a safe environment, keeping them off the streets. “Children know that they will be taken care of when they come here and receive a good meal.
They then stay on and we can coach and guide them, helping them to achieve more at school and giving them positive activities to help them learn, rather than the negative things they could be exposed to out on the streets.”
Lerato highlights that malnourishment in children has severe consequences for their development and ability to grow and learn.
“Children are so precious, they are our future, and it’s sad to see young children with so much potential suffer from hunger.
If we can just work together to take care of their basic needs, we can help them to achieve their potential.
It is amazing how your R2 donation, made into a nutritious meal, can change a child’s life.”