Rise Against Hunger Africa
Brian Nell from Rise Against Hunger Africa told the meeting that they are involved in three main activities, the first being meal packing exercises, mainly with corporates, who use it as a team building exercise as well as part of their Corporate Social Investment portfolio.
Rise Against Hunger uses these events as its main fundraisers and get teams of 15 people to a production line to package lentils, split peas, rice and a vitamin sachet that can feed six adults or ten children.
Rise against Hunger `Africa processes 6.5 million meal packets a year and involves 40 000 volunteers.
The second leg of the operation is distributing these packages to children in need and they supply meals to early childhood development centres all over the country, targeting unregistered ECDs where the need is the largest.
Every box with food packages they donate is a saving of R300 for the centres, who are then encouraged to use the money saved on infrastructure development. How this money is spent, is monitored regularly so that the centre can grow to meet the needs of the community and develop until they’re in a position to gain formal registration.
That, one might add, sounds pure Rotary talk with the emphasis on sustainability and community upliftment.
Rise Against Hunger Africa, along with partners in America and elsewhere, is also involved with disaster relief and, as an example, provided 59 000 meals in KwaZulu-Natal during and after the rioting and looting last year.
In recent years they’ve also moved into sustainable farming in an effort to provide their own products for the packages rather than just sourcing them from elsewhere and they already have five growing projects in place, where half of what is produced goes towards the packages and the other half is sold off to keep the farms growing.
Brian was particularly interested to hear Glen Meyer speak about the 800 hectare of arable land that the Department of Correctional Services has at the Leeuwkop Prison and the tie-in with the Rotary seedling tunnel at the National School of the Arts in Braamfontein.
Rotary at work again.
Seedling Farm Update
Glen and Babette Gallard reported that they’d visited the seedling farm and that 6000 seedlings had just been delivered to Leeuwkop, the first of many deliveries to come. The project could potentially deliver 1.3 million to 1.4 million seedlings a year to Leeuwkop, he said.
Jeni Lobel has appealed to club members to bring along any old (or even new) shoes to meetings to add to those she has been collecting at Virgin Active gyms, a project that started pre-Covid and then died down during the two years of lockdown.
Quite a few members obliged, with many more promising to clear out their shoe cupboard in time for the meeting next week. If you can’t make the meeting, there are bins at a few Virgin gyms, most notably at Old Eds in Houghton.
The shoes go to Linda Twala in Alexandra, where they are distributed to those who need them the most.
Next week: The speaker on Wednesday is Allison Furniss, who is speaking on women in mining in the DRC and her journey with Rotary as a Rotary global grant scholar.