World Social Day, which was celebrated on 20 February, is a day dedicated to tackling issues of poverty, exclusion, unemployment and the promotion of sustainable solutions to alleviate these burdens. Societies can do this through establishing solidarity between communities, corporates and NGOs by crafting ways that promote the dignity of vulnerable children and individuals who live below the poverty line.
JAM SA believes that it is unjust that some children do not have their basic rights met mostly due to inequalities that are prevalent in South Africa. Sixty one percent of children live below the poverty line and this may not change unless their grassroot needs of adequate nutrition and quality education are met. It is for this reason that JAM SA has recently partnered with the Penreach Foundation and Ntataise Lowveld who are experts in delivering training to teachers and practitioners at ECD centres they support. Their efforts have shown positive results in practitioner skills development, which translates into children receiving quality education.
While the education part is taken care of, JAM SA knows that hungry children are unable to learn and that starting the day with a nutritious meal is the first step towards improving concentration, learning capacity and socialisation. Since January 2017, JAM SA has, with the assistance of KFC Add Hope, been providing nutritious porridge to over 3 000 beneficiaries at Penreach Foundation and Ntataise Lowveld supported ECD centres and playgroups, . JAM provides more than 90 000 pre-school children across all nine provinces with JAM porridge that contains 75% of a child’s daily nutritional requirements and is served in JAM’s signature Red Bowls.
We believe that such partnerships enable the holistic development of these young children who, once well fed, can thrive on quality education from well-trained educators. Through such partnerships JAM strives to continue promoting sustainable development in disadvantaged communities in order to bridge the inequality gap.
The collaborative investments we are making will contribute to the attainment of South Africa’s sustainable development goals of eliminating dependency created by the vicious cycle of poverty.