KFC partners WFP to feed preschool kids
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.