Date published: 01 December 2017
During World Hunger Month in October, including World Food Day on 16th October, R5.83 million was raised for national feeding scheme Add Hope. The R2 donations from customers will go to NGOs like SOS Children’s Villages, one of a growing list of 12 national and 125 local beneficiary organisations Add Hope supports around the country. Including SOS Children’s Villages Pietermaritzburg, Add Hope reaches five larger national NGOs and 28 local Add Hope-supported beneficiaries across Kwazulu-Natal. Annual funding applications (see www.addhope.co.za) are underway and close on the 15th December.
With hunger and malnutrition posing a major risk to the health and education of children in Kwa-Zulu Natal, initiatives like Add Hope that channel funds towards feeding are changing the lives of children like Thando who is growing up at SOS Children’s Village Pietermaritzburg. Constructed in 1996, the village provides stable and consistent care for the many orphans and abandoned children in the area, placing them in a supportive village environment with a mother, brothers and sisters and the involvement of the surrounding community.
Thando’s incredible journey started when she was taken to SOS Children’s Villages Pietermaritzburg at the age of 7, where she stayed for the duration of her childhood. She completed primary school and went on to matriculate at Alexandra High School, Pietermaritzburg. During this period, nutritious meals funded by Add Hope helped her to perform better at school. Thando is reaching new heights as an optimistic and an educated young woman who is now pursuing her tertiary education. “I’m grateful to SOS Children’s Villages and Add Hope, and to everyone who contributed to enable me to reach where I am today and have hope for the future,” says Thando.
With poverty levels increasing in South Africa, the pressure is on to maintain levels of feeding and increase the children Add Hope is able to reach through partner organisations like SOS Children’s Villages. “According to Statistics SA, 55% of people are living in poverty, most of whom are children and African. We need to turn the tide on hunger and the devastating effect it has on children,” says Thabisa Mkhwanazi, KFC Africa Corporate Affairs Director and Add Hope champion. “Better nutrition in early childhood can have a lasting impact on physical, cognitive and social development, giving children hope by unlocking their potential. We believe good nutrition is the single most important factor in creating a better future children like Thando. When you add hope, you really give a child so much more than food.”
Mkhwanazi says the numbers tell a powerful story and show how Add Hope has been able to go from feeding 40 000 children in 2009, to over 120 000 today. “Add Hope works because it’s a small donation that is quick to add – it’s really the power of the collective to change lives. Donations from customers keep increasing, from R6.2 million in 2010 to R38.6 million in 2016. We also continue to increase our own CSI contributions as KFC. On behalf of each of the 120 000 children all over South Africa that Add Hope feeds, we’d like to say thank you to all South Africans who donated during World Hunger Month and continue to donate. Together, we can give children all over the country a chance to learn, grow and thrive.”