Mal­nour­ished flour­ish

DIS­AD­VAN­TAGED CHIL­DREN GET A GOOD MEAL DAILY

The Citizen (KZN) - - NEWS - Chi­somj@cit­i­zen.co.za

Where do those R2 do­na­tions peo­ple of­ten make when or­der­ing a fast-food chicken meal go?

Well, as you walk into the Boys & Girls Club of Pimville, be­yond the freshly painted build­ing and neatly tai­lored lawns, you no­tice chil­dren run­ning about en­er­get­i­cally.

The man­ager, Tumi Ra­ma­sodi, said the club opened in 2011 and was now filled to ca­pac­ity with 400 chil­dren a day.

Most came from within the com­mu­nity and were from dis­ad­van­taged cir­cum­stances. They lacked ac­cess to sev­eral ne­ces­si­ties, in­clud­ing nu­tri­tious meals.

“Pro­vid­ing chil­dren with proper nu­tri­tion is still a hurdle. For some of the chil­dren, the meal they get here is the only nu­tri­tious food they get for the whole day.

With the help of our four-year­long part­ner­ship with Add Hope, we are able to serve one meal a day to all of them.”

In 2009, KFC started the Add Hope ini­tia­tive, col­lect­ing a R2 do­na­tion from their cus­tomers at the till to help fight child­hood hunger through the feed­ing schemes it of­fers to non­profit child­care fa­cil­i­ties like this one.

Ra­ma­sodi said mal­nu­tri­tion still killed 1 120 chil­dren un­der five each year in South Africa, but the Add Hope ini­tia­tive was help­ing to re­duce the num­ber.

“We have three other branches and KFC as­sists all of us with their feed­ing scheme,” said Ra­ma­sodi.

“It is a strong part­ner­ship.”

An 11-year-old boy who goes to the club ev­ery day, Le­sego Tsha­bal­ala, said: “I en­joy com­ing here be­cause I feel guided and safe.

“My life has im­proved be­cause I got more dis­tinc­tions and I passed.”

KFC pub­lic af­fairs direc­tor and Add Hope cham­pion Thabisa Mkhwanazi said: “It’s un­think­able that chil­dren in our coun­try still die from hunger and mal­nu­tri­tion, with stunt­ing af­fect­ing mil­lions more.

“Through our Add Hope ben­e­fi­cia­ries, we’ve wit­nessed real change. Chil­dren held back by hunger have, thanks to daily nour­ish­ment, grown into con­fi­dent young­sters with the po­ten­tial to break out of the hunger cy­cle.” –

Pic­ture: Re­filwe Modise

HELP­ING HANDS. A fa­cil­i­ta­tor paints a girl’s face for a re­cent tal­ent show at the Boys & Girls Club in Soweto.

Pic­ture: Re­filwe Modise

GO­ING STRONG. Fa­cil­i­ta­tors, staff and vol­un­teers at the Boys & Girls Club in Soweto.

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