2014 will be a brighter year for 2 500 pre-school children in East London thanks to the new partnership between Rotary of Gately and Joint Aid Management South Africa (JAM SA), with financial support from KFC Add Hope. The programme, which came into effect this January, secures a daily morning meal of highly nutritious porridge for the children who attend the supported Early Childhood Development (ECD) centres.
It is not JAM’s first intervention in the Eastern Cape. It already operates in the Transkei, feeding just over 3 000 children daily. With the addition of East London, nearly 47 000 South African children are now sustained by JAM each day. This is dwarfed by JAM’s Africa operation, which feeds over a million needy children.
“JAM SA formerly only worked in the Transkei area and the East London area provides the opportunity for greater coverage in an area of need. Rapid urbanisation has seen decreasing levels of food and nutrition security in the area,” comments Martyn Foot, JAM SA Operations Manager.
The plight of East London’s children was first brought to Gately’s attention by the club’s Ann’s division, headed by Ann’s president Carol Campbell. She recognised that any ECD programme would struggle if the children were hungry. Together, with several other service organisations, the Ann’s will remain at the forefront of the project, identifying the beneficiaries, arranging the training, overseeing the distribution and monitoring the impact.
JAM SA and Gately Rotary will roll out the nutritional feeding programme with specific organisations in the Buffalo City Metro, with Gately Rotary facilitating the distribution of porridge and monitoring thereof each month. JAM SA will also ensure that each centre has sufficient Red Bowls and spoons, bowls and ladles, stock registers, as well as informative preparation and storage posters.
JAM SA’s Martyn Foot says the benefit for the estimated 2 500 children is that they will be receiving 75% of their nutritional requirements on a daily basis, resulting in higher levels of nutrition security. Coupled with the work that Gately Rotary has already been doing in uplifting and training the ECD teachers, these children are now well on their way to becoming happy, healthy and contributing members of our South African society.