KFC part­ners WFP to feed preschool kids

Lesotho Times - - News - Retha­bile Pitso

KEN­TUCKY Fried Chicken (KFC) Le­sotho on Tues­day do­nated US$11 359 (about M170 385) to­wards a preschool feed­ing pro­gramme be­ing run by the World Food Pro­gramme (WFP).

The do­na­tion is part of the fast­food res­tau­rant chain’s ‘Add Hope’ cam­paign launched at Manamela preschool in Butha-buthe on Tues­day. Among the ob­jec­tives of the cam­paign is cre­at­ing aware­ness and rais­ing funds for the pro­vi­sion of meals to un­der­priv­i­leged chil­dren.

In her re­marks dur­ing the cer­e­mony, KFC Le­sotho Fran­chisee, Lerato Ma­jara, said the money would be used by WFP in procur­ing and dis­tribut­ing food­stuffs such as maize meal, cook­ing oil, pulses and su­per ce­real to needy pre-school­ers.

The preschools that will ben­e­fit from the fa­cil­ity are Manamela and Ha Ma­jara in Butha-buthe as well as Thuto ke Le­seli, St Kiz­ito and Ra­matekane from Maseru.

Ms Ma­jara said KFC part­nered with WFP be­cause the hu­man­i­tar­ian or­gan­i­sa­tion was al­ready en­gaged in pro­grammes to ad­dress hunger.

“We have been work­ing to­wards giv­ing back to the com­mu­nity, and are happy that WFP has come on board to help us in that re­gard,” she said.

“Since WFP has been in­volved with the school feed­ing pro­gramme, they have iden­ti­fied the five preschools that will ben­e­fit from the fund.”

Ms Ma­jara said start­ing from next year, KFC cus­tomers would be asked to con­trib­ute a small amount to help feed needy chil­dren when they buy meals. “Those con­tri­bu­tions will be used to as­sist more schools in fu­ture,” she said.

“Through ‘Add Hope’, we want the chil­dren to be given ac­cess to nu­tri­tious and bal­anced meals in order to grow and learn and be at their best.”

KFC South Africa Head Of­fice rep­re­sen­ta­tive Palesa Mahloele chipped in say­ing the ‘Add Hope’ cam­paign was also aimed at al­le­vi­at­ing poverty.

“We have in­tro­duced the ini­tia­tive in many dif­fer­ent coun­tries with the aim of al­le­vi­at­ing poverty,” she said.

“In all those coun­tries, we part­nered with dif­fer­ent non-gov­ern­men­tal or­gan­i­sa­tions. We are there­fore happy to have part­nered with WFP in Le­sotho and are ex­cited about this new jour­ney.”

WFP Le­sotho Coun­try Di­rec­tor Mary Njoroge said the col­lab­o­ra­tion with KFC was a con­tin­u­a­tion of the part­ner­ship be­tween the or­gan­i­sa­tions.

“This launch marks the con­tin­u­a­tion of a part­ner­ship be­tween Yum Brands, to which KFC Le­sotho is af- fil­i­ated, and WFP which dates back to 2008. Yum Brands sup­ported the WFP (school-feed­ing) pro­gramme be­tween 2008 and 2011, con­tribut­ing $2.5 mil­lion (about M33 mil­lion),” she said.

“This con­tri­bu­tion by Yum Brands helped WFP to pro­vide meals to 80 000 learn­ers in pri­mary schools lo­cated in hard-to-reach places.”

Ms Njoroge said the school-feed­ing pro­gramme would en­cour­age more pre-school­ers to en­rol for Early Child­hood Care and Devel­op­ment (ECCD).

“Through the pro­vi­sion of meals in preschools, WFP seeks to boost the en­rol­ment of chil­dren in preschools, en­hance their pre­pared­ness for pri­mary ed­u­ca­tion, heighten their par­tic­i­pa­tion in class and also pre­vent mi­cronu­tri­ent de­fi­cien­cies,” she said.

“Through part­ner­ships of this na­ture, WFP will be able to con­tinue sup­port­ing preschools and also help to re­duce the costs schools in­cur on food. This can also help to re­duce preschool fees.”

For her part, Ed­u­ca­tion and Training Min­is­ter Dr Ma­hali Phamotse also lauded the ini­tia­tive, say­ing it went a long way to­wards erad­i­cat­ing poverty.

“I am pleased to see such ded­i­ca­tion from the pri­vate sec­tor in sup­port­ing gov­ern­ment ef­forts to erad­i­cate poverty,” the min­is­ter said.

“Le­sotho is among coun­tries that adopted Sus­tain­able Devel­op­ment Goals which, among other things, ad­vo­cate for qual­ity ed­u­ca­tion. We can only achieve that goal when our chil­dren are well-fed and healthy.

“We owe it to our­selves as a coun­try to take heed of the United Na­tions Child Rights Con­ven­tion which calls for the pro­tec­tion of chil­dren against suf­fer­ing.”

Dr Phamotse added gov­ern­ment was in the process of im­prov­ing the stan­dards of ed­u­ca­tion in im­pov­er­ished preschools and those lo­cated in hard-to-reach places.

“To ad­dress the is­sue of qual­ity ed­u­ca­tion in preschools, the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion and Training has de­cided to in­clude ECCD teach­ers on its pay­roll. To date, we now have about 107 ECCD teach­ers on gov­ern­ment’s pay­roll,” she said.

KFC of­fi­cials give re­fresh­ments to some of the ben­e­fi­cia­ries in Butha-buthe on Tues­day.

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