We’re focused on protecting vulnerable children in our communities, and nutrition is a part of this. At the moment, we are focused on making sure the children we serve and their families are getting the basic nutrition they need”. Sam Mokgopha Head: Community Programmes Kids Haven
#NoKidGoesHungry: A Kids Haven Campaign to feed our most vulnerable
South Africa and Africa in general are well known for their pervasive poverty and poor communities. The strain of restrictions put in place to curb COVID-19 is adding enormous pressure to an already volatile situation. Today, thousands of vulnerable children and infants across the country are facing chronic undernourishment, and are in need of lifesaving food assistance.
The sad reality
It’s a reality that families in our informal communities live in close proximity to one another, and lack adequate access to water, sanitation, and food supplies. Families are often packed into a single room of poorly built shacks and most are unemployed. Despair and hunger are setting in, and we are very worried for the well-being of our communities’ children. Starvation and violence are on the rise with these children having nowhere to turn for assistance.
Sadly malnutrition can damage a child for life, and most often the effects of chronic malnutrition are irreversible. Children who consistently experience bouts of starvation during childhood are affected in the long term in numerous ways. Due to stunted growth they do not reach their optimum size as adults (and so may have less physical capacity for work), their brains are affected (resulting in lower IQs), and they are at greater risk of infection due to reduced immunity and vitamin deficiency – which kills many children during their early years.
In addition, COVID-19 may prove especially deadly for people suffering from chronic or acute hunger or malnourishment. Since malnutrition can weaken the immune system, these communities may be more vulnerable to acquiring COVID-19. This means that both the children and their care-givers are more likely to suffer death.
What Kids Haven is doing in response
Kids Haven works in some of the most impoverished communities in Johannesburg, namely eMandleni, Tsakane and informal settlements in and around eTwatwa and Daveyton to provide assistance to families of the children we are involved with. At present we are managing intermittent food assistance for 260 families that we know are in dire circumstances. These families need more consistent support, and many more families like them need our assistance. We need to be able to scale up our community food assistance operation.
How you can help
Can you help us to provide our children’s families with staple food items to supplement their diet with a R250 or R500 food parcel donation? Or even a smaller amount to buy food items.
You are welcome to make a donation directly to Kids Haven and we will buy the food, or you can purchase online from Kit Kat Cash and Carry Benoni who will deliver to us.
- To make a donation visit https://kidshaven.co.za/donate/ and use the reference #NoKidGoesHungry on your donation.
- To order food from Kit Kat Cash and Carry, register online on www.kitkatgroup.com, click on Shop Online, and follow the instructions. See below our list of food requirements.
- Or to send a food voucher visit the following and use Sam’s phone number
073 265 4135 and he will forward it to one of our youth in the community https://tickets.computicket.com/event/Shoprite%20Vouchers%20-%20computicket/7145292/7145306/107235?utm_source=Shoprite&utm_medium=Media&utm_campaign=Voucher
- We are unable to collect donations, but you are welcome to have items of food delivered to our centre at 38 Cranbourne Ave, Benoni.
Our community outreach workers will then deliver the food parcels to those children and their families that are most in need. With our long-standing experience and vast expertise in these communities we know which families are at most risk and in urgent need of food. We also check on the wellbeing of the children at the same time and make sure that there is good care of the children in the household even in these difficult times.
We need the following items:
- Mielie Meal – in 2.5kg or 5kg bags
- Tins of tomato
- Tins of beans
- Tins of fish e.g. pilchards
- Spices and curry powders and salt
- Jam and peanut butter
- Soup mix
- Tea / Coffee & Sugar
- Cooking oil