Judea Hope has been active in Southern Africa’s previously disadvantaged communities for the past 16 years through a variety of community upliftment and development programs. It was however 5 years ago that we were confronted with the dire need of the children of our region. This led to several programs, focussing on early childhood development of which the most logical first step was food!
Day care centres and feeding
One of the major needs that we focused on was the creation of day care centres for thousands of children that had no place to learn (and eat). Through collaboration with religious and civic groups, we have established 1000 informal day care centres that also serve as an ideal platform for the distribution of food.
Unique nutritional approach
Through research and consultation with local nutritional experts Judea Hope (www.judeahope.org) has formulated a dehydrated rice, vegetable and legume based meal that provides all the macronutrient needs for a child and even an adult. To enhance the nutritional potency of the meal further a vitamin and mineral sachet was specifically formulated for the meal pack and is included in the packaging. This is added after the meal has been cooked. Soon after we had rolled out the first batches of food with our vitamin sachet anecdotal feedback started rolling in. There are too many testimonies to note in this document but feedback ranges from decreased illnesses amongst the children to improved general health of people living with HIV. Sadly due to the overwhelming need we are currently only managing 3 meals per week at some of the 1000 daycare centres.
Unique participatory approach
Since the meals have to be packed. We opted to invite companies to not just donate financially but to invite their staff to become involved as volunteer meal packers. This is done through a fun and engaging assembly line process where staff members pack the meals that their company has donated. On request, we can also facilitate the production of a short, fun video that some organisations have used on their intranet.
Food for the brain
Besides the food packs Judea Hope provides the day care centres with training material and the staff also receives basic literacy courses at university standard. All the material for children development is also supplied to the teachers.
BBBEE and Article 18 certificates
Judea Hope is a registered NPO and has an Article 18a tax certification. Donations to the Judea Hope feeding scheme, therefore, qualifies for the BBBEE scorecard.