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In South Africa, 3.3 million children live in households where there is child hunger, 14% live in households where children go hungry, 17% of children under the age of 10 suffer from stunting, and 10% of children under the age of 10 years old are underweight.
Non-governmental organisation Ikamva Labantu’s Fuel2Grow Campaign was initially started as a festive season initiative to provide 650 children with a cooked nutritious meal five days a week, for a year.
Says Ananda Nel (Director of Ikamva Labantu): “Our Fuel2Grow campaign has been so successful that we’ve decided to make it ongoing. Food insecurity is a topic that needs to be brought to the fore. Many of the children in our world of work go to bed hungry and a campaign such as this, we believe, highlights the importance of providing at least one nutritious meal to these children. In light of this, our Fuel2Grow campaign needs to continue. In order for a child to prosper, their tummies need to be filled. The campaign will take on many shapes, so watch this space. We want to provide children with the fuel to grow, learn, play, study, dream, create and inspire.”
According to Nel, the first seven years of a child’s life lays the developmental foundation for his/her future. “A great deal of emphasis has been placed on this, but we can’t ignore the importance of having access to healthy meals as a critical part of a child’s mental and physical growth up to 18 years of age.”
To date, Fuel2Grow has raised a significant amount of money. Nel continues: “We’ve raised just over R1, 8 million. It’s an amazing feat and we’d like to thank everyone who contributed to this campaign – from the smallest amount to the largest donation, every cent counts.”
More importantly, Fuel2Grow has highlighted the reality of children still not able to access at least one nutritious cooked meal a day and created awareness of Ikamva Labantu and the work that they do. Says Nel: “What has made the campaign so successful was not only the fundraising, but also creating awareness of Ikamva Labantu and what we do. The Freshlyground benefit concert was the most successful in raising the profile of Ikamva Labantu and also created huge media publicity.”
Nel concludes: “With the funds raised to date, we’re able to give 86 165 nutritious meals to children. We’d like to thank our partners Cape Union Mart, Smile 90.4FM, Freshlyground, Relate Bracelets, Canal Walk, Frey Chocolates and How To Advertise for their wonderful support.”
To donate, please visit www.fuel2grow.org
For more information on Fuel2Grow campaign:
For more information on Ikamva Labantu: http://www.ikamva.org.za/