Recently there have been a couple of newspaper articles underscoring the impact of our work in uplifting communities, creating jobs and alleviating poverty and hunger.
Horrifying facts revealed by Independent Online, show the impact of the pandemic on people’s ability to feed themselves. Statistics released by Operation Hunger indicated that 11.8 million (20%) of South Africans are facing high levels of acute food insecurity. Worst affected are children. According to Operation Hunger’s Chief Executive, Sandy Bukula, “Malnutrition in children is especially dangerous, resulting in irreversible setbacks including stunted growth and reduced cognitive development.”
Centre Manager of Siyabonga Africa, Sarah-Jane Brink said that more than 50% of South Africans currently live below the breadline, which means that they can barely afford food.
“In the last two years, the unemployment rate in South Africa has increased. More than three million people have lost their jobs. Unemployment is a major contributing factor to ongoing poverty and hunger. Hunger affects children physically, psychologically and socially. They are not able to learn, socialise or develop normally, on an empty stomach,” she said.
Brink said that South Africans can help alleviate hunger by supporting worthy organisations like Siyabonga Africa, which is dedicated to creating job opportunities, while providing emergency Food Vouchers to see people through the worst times. She encouraged people to support the My School My Village My Planet initiative, so that while you are providing food for your household, you can also be providing food for those who can’t afford it.
“Share your grocery basket with a family in need or provide a daily lunch-box to an underprivileged child you may know or support job-creating initiatives that empower people with skills and opportunities to look after themselves,” she said. She also encouraged people to support small businesses.
Another news item (below) promotes the idea of using Food Vouchers to buy seeds, as well as emergency food. In this way, poor people can maximise the impact of their food donation and create an ongoing self-sustaining food garden.