Change the life of a child…for just £3 a month
Food4Africa UK is a charity that helps to raise awareness and support the needs of vulnerable children.
Our mission is to feed and support vulnerable children and give them the start they need to become the future of their country.
COVID- 19: How we are responding in April (taking one month at a time)
The situation in South Africa
Food4Africa UK (working through our partner Two Tunics) supports 1500 vulnerable children in 24 pre-schools across the UGU district of KwaZulu Natal in South Africa.
In normal times, these pre-schools survive through small government grants and school fees collected from those adults able to pay. The teachers are typically paid very little (and below the national minimum wage in many cases). These pre-schools receive monthly porridge support from Food4Africa to ensure the children are receiving a nutritional breakfast each day.
But, as we know, times are not normal – not for anyone, anywhere in the world.
South Africa is currently on one of the most severe lockdowns in the world (including not being allowed outside to exercise) until the end of April (and maybe longer).
While so many people around the world are facing the challenge of being ‘locked down’ at home, or under some level of social distancing measures, the reality in South Africa is that for many people their lockdown time is not unlike a prison sentence with no food. The informal work sector in the country is vast – people who work for daily or weekly pay, and for whom ‘no work = no pay’ is a stark reality. So a lockdown order goes beyond the challenges of just coping with being at home 24/7 and having to school/look after children; it also includes the fear of how will I feed myself and the children with no money. There are some government grants for children and the aged and the disabled; so some will have the small amount of money this provides to live on. However they now have to feed children three meals a day.
Add to this, these families are now sheltering in very cramped quarters 24 hours a day – often eight people in a two room ‘house’ (and far worse in the informal settlements). The tension and stress in these situations is making the already high domestic violence numbers in the country increase wildly in an already difficult time.
This means the 1500 children that Food4Africa UK supports will be in very vulnerable situations during this time – without even taking into consideration the threat of contracting COVID-19.
The 112 teachers who look after the children in the pre-schools are also facing a very difficult situation. With the pre-schools closed and no school fees coming in, they cannot be paid. So they are facing this time with no income.
What Food4Africa is doing in April
As there is currently no opportunity to buy or distribute the porridge we supply, we are using our April donation amount to contribute to the relief work Two Tunics is doing – to arrange donations to ‘family’ units (of children from the 24 pre-schools) where the teachers know they are in difficulty.
Working through our partner Two Tunics (who will arrange the logistics and monitor the impact), we are starting by giving each of the teachers three or four ‘parcels’ of £12/£15 to distribute to the children, depending on the size of the ‘family’ unit. That should be enough to buy some basics to feed a unit of four for about two/three weeks.
We may have to do this for May (and June) as well. And we will have to monitor this closely, on a month to month basis as (understandably in these tough times) Food4Africa’s funding is unfortunately very limited.
We will keep you posted.
If you would like to help
We know the challenges COVID-19 is placing on everyone. If you feel you are able to donate a small amount (because every little really does count) to help these 112 teachers and 1500 children to survive the next few months, please visit www.justgiving.com/food4africa
Thank you so much for your continued support.
Our aims for children are to:
- Alleviate hunger and poverty
- Maximise energy levels and enhance immune systems to fight off diseases
- Develop ‘brain’ potential for future learning
- Promote better concentration and a sense of well-being
- Make it easier for them to cope with everyday schooling
We work closely with partners in South Africa to distribute a nutritionally rich ‘porridge’ made from a precooked maize and soya base, enriched with 19 minerals and vitamins. Food4Africa UK currently feeds 1,500 children every day in South Africa and supports a further 500 children in Namibia.
One simple meal a day has extremely positive effects on children by improving their weight gain and well-being. This porridge also has an extremely beneficial effect in helping children to fight the diseases and illnesses of everyday life.
Our monthly activity reporting ensures we know where all of the children are, how much food is being distributed, and most importantly, the impact the food is having on the children and their well-being.
We also support children with a number other projects, for example, arranging school and learning materials to be sent from Scottish schools to South Africa; and the knitting and distribution of 4,000 teddies and dollies (to date) from Scotland.
Our message is positive and optimistic – which is why we have so many photos of our children smiling. Children are inherently positive. When their basic needs are met, such as one healthy meal a day given by a caring person, they smile, they are happy. Of course we see many sad children. Our message is that we can (and do!) make them happy. From the regular monitoring and feedback we receive, we know we are making a difference.
If you would like to know more about us, please see our downloadable pdf:
UK Charity Registration: SC037178
Company Registration: SC296214 Reg.Office: 268 Nuneaton Street, Glasgow, G4 3DX