Western Cape children benefit from Add Hope donations this festive season

Date published: 02 Jan 2018
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Western Cape children benefit from Add Hope donations this festive season
With hunger and malnutrition posing a major risk to the health and education of children in the Western Cape, initiatives like Add Hope that channel funds towards feeding are changing the lives of children like Lungi who is growing up at Home of Hope in Tableview. Orphaned and abandoned as a baby, Lungi was placed with a foster mother who passed away when he was 11. He moved into Home of Hope in 2013 and is now 15 years old. “I was born HIV positive. When the police found me and took me to hospital, the staff said I wouldn’t live past one. Because of my HIV and not taking ARVs, I was very ill and suffered badly from malnutrition. My foster mother took me in and nursed me back to health. Eleanor from Home of Hope promised my foster mum that if anything happened to her that I would have a home in Home of Hope, so she took me in when she passed away.”
Home of Hope has had a great impact on Lungi’s life. “I was an only child but now I have brothers and sisters and am part of a family who cares about me. Last year I moved to the Home of Hope Special Needs School, Amathemba, as I was struggling in mainstream school. Home of Hope taught me to respect adults and when I make mistakes now I take responsibility for them and don’t blame others. I feel I am a new person since I moved to Home of Hope.” Lungi says he would like to be a chef in the future. “We learn how to cook once a week at our school and I love trying out new recipes and of course eating what I make. My foster mother says us boys never stop eating but we are lucky to eat proper food including fruit and vegetables, thanks to Add Hope.” Eleanor Brook, CEO and founder of Home of Hope, says that many Tableview residents are unemployed and with that comes many social problems like drug and alcohol abuse. “Home of Hope specialises in caring for and educating children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder – FASD - which is a form of permanent brain damage caused by a mother consuming alcohol during her pregnancy. South Africa has the highest rate of FASD in the world with approximately 70,000 children born with the disability each year.”
Home of Hope has 19 children in its foster home project and 37 in special needs school Amathemba, one of the few in the world that specialises in educating children with FASD. “One of the features of FASD is that the children suffer from ADHD and hyperactivity. Diet plays an important part in reducing the effects of ADHD. With the funding from Add Hope, we can ensure that the children eat a balanced diet including vegetables, fruit, poultry and meat. This helps the children to concentrate at school and achieve better results,” says Brook. Brook has great hope for the future. “We want to see our children becoming functioning and contributing members of their communities. With appropriate interventions both on the home side and education side, we aim to break the cycle of abuse and poverty in these children’s lives.”
With poverty levels increasing in South Africa, the pressure is on to maintain levels of feeding and increase the children Add Hope is able to reach through partner organisations like Home of Hope. “According to Statistics SA, 55% of people are living in poverty, most of whom are children and African. We need to turn the tide on hunger and the devastating effect it has on children,” says Thabisa Mkhwanazi, KFC Africa Corporate Affairs Director and Add Hope champion. “We believe good nutrition is the single most important factor in creating a better future children like Lungi. When you add hope, you really give a child so much more than food.”
Mkhwanazi says the numbers tell a powerful story and show how Add Hope has been able to go from feeding 40 000 children in 2009, to over 120 000 today. “Add Hope works because it’s a small donation that is quick to add – it’s really the power of the collective to change lives. Donations from customers keep increasing, from R6.2 million in 2010 to R38.6 million in 2016. During World Hunger Month in October, including World Food Day on 16th October, R5.83 million was raised. We also continue to increase our own CSI contributions as KFC. On behalf of each of the 120 000 children all over South Africa that Add Hope feeds, we’d like to say thank you to all South Africans who donated during World Hunger Month and continue to donate. Together, we can give children all over the country a chance to learn, grow and thrive.” Ends www.sosvillages.org.za

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