This all started when one of our founding members suspected that a man standing next to the road may be hungry. She drove home, made him a sandwich and took it to him.
In 2004, this same heart was expressed in providing meals to 50 children in one informal settlement. A generous and regular donation of fresh vegetables enabled us to expand the programme. More than 15 years later we are helping to provide food security to over 17 000 children through a variety of programmes.
It is our hope that you will become involved in what we do by:
- Volunteering your time to visit the schools, creches and Orphaned families we support once a month
- Adopting a creche, school or family to support
- Donating cash towards the cost of running our programmes
Our Management Committee
- Peter Hall – Chairman
- Claire Rosewarne – General manager
- Martina Bolofo – Management committee member
- Sally France – Management committee member
- Andrea Anderssen – Treasurer-Management committee member
- Andrew Heyns – Asset supervisor
Early Childhood Development is the most important time in a person’s life. Good nutrition and a nurturing environment are critical. That is why we partner with ECD teachers who have a proven track record. Through our supporters we provide 2 cooked meals and 2 healthy snacks every day! There is a weekly set menu with different meals and snacks being served each day. This sets a foundation of good eating habits and life-long nutrition.
Children who aren’t hungry can learn more easily. In South Africa, a strong ECD foundation is critical to success in school.
Our OVC family programme supports families caring for Orphaned or Vulnerable children. These families are all different but each came to us through concerned school teachers. Our partner schools identify children in need of special help, and we visit them to conduct an intake interview. If a family meets our criteria we make a commitment to feed them every month until their children have finished school.
Our team leader volunteers visit between 3 and 10 families every month, taking food, encouragement and advice. Over the years these team leaders become like members of the extended family, especially for our child-headed households. They are expected to bring the concerns of their families back to their office and to do their best to help their families access the support that they need.
AFFT began in schools loaded in the informal settlements of the West Rand. We ran feeding programmes before they were provided by government. Although the GDE now feeds most schools in these areas, we continue to provide them with healthy fresh veggies and other supplies to supplement their meals. We have also run the Impande Ye Sizwe programme where we encouraged the best educators in each of these schools through a student voting process.
Recently the need for food in more suburban schools has been growing. That is why we now partner with these schools in tailor-made feeding schemes, which get the food to the children who need it without stigmatising them. In these environments we have seen academics and extramural participation improve significantly once reliable meals are introduced.
The Dayspring Children’s Village is a boarding school for children in Magaliesberg. They have been running since 1983. Many of the children attending their school are in foster care or informal family care and spend most of the year living in the hostels. They receive 3 healthy meals and evening tea each day through the partnership between AFFT and Dayspring.
Homework is a serious challenge for many children in South Africa. Many parents arrive home late in the evening, and many have not finished school themselves, making it difficult for them to assist their children academically. Children who depend on their schools for food typically get “lunch” at 10am. That is why AFFT partners with two amazing aftercare centres who give a hot meal and academic assistance to children in their communities. Homework is hard enough, imagine doing it on an empty stomach!
After the passing of our Founder, Peter France, a bursary fund was created in his honour. This fund supports children who have been fed by AFFT as they leave school and enter tertiary education. We have seen many successes from this programme, including a qualified social worker, many short course graduates, and young adults who have found employment! We are so proud of all these children who have risen above their circumstances and aimed for the stars.
Donations to this fund can be made by emailing email@example.com. This fund is kept in an investment account so that we can promise support to many years of AFFT children!
Africa Food for Thought (AFFT) is a fully registered charity that provides food security for children, in support of education. Currently, we are supporting nearly 17 000 children on the West Rand (Johannesburg, South Africa) in a variety of ways. There are three major programmes that encompass our work.
School Feeding Programmes
AFFT supports existing school feeding programmes in 15 schools. We equip their kitchens and supply fresh vegetables. When deliveries by the Department of Education are delayed we provide the full menu to ensure daily meals for learners. Some of our schools run only partial feeding schemes and we provide them with ingredients for sandwiches or snacks each day.
Schools on our programme benefit from partnering with AFFT in many ways each year but our highest priority is to ensure meals for every day. Some of our schools have seen their learners’ marks improve by up to 10% after implementing a feeding scheme with AFFT!
There are currently 41 informal creches in our programme. We supply two meals and two snacks every school day. These consist of a varied weekly menu, ensuring that the children receive the nutrients they need and that they develop healthy eating habits. Much research has shown that good nutrition during the pre-school years is critical to healthy development and learning.
In addition, we facilitate the gradual upgrading of the facilities and various training opportunities for the teachers.
Orphaned and vulnerable children (OVC) programme
Teachers from our partner schools identify and recommend children in their classes in the direst of circumstances to this programme. These children live in households affected by challenges such as unemployment, disease, loss of a parent, and severe poverty. Many live with grandmothers, or in child-headed households. A monthly delivery by our volunteers provides enough food to sustain the whole family on condition that they all support the sponsored child in his or her studies. Real relationships are formed over time and we become part of such a child’s extended family. Because of the Peter France Bursary Fund, we are able to support children on the programme to further their education after completing high school. We continue to support the children when they are at college or university and many are working after graduating from this programme. We currently have 76 families in the programme.
AFFT is a non-profit organization registered with SARS as a tax-exempt public benefit organisation in terms of section 30 of the Income Tax Act. We also have a certified B-BBEE rating.
Anderssen Financial Services CC is responsible for our bookkeeping and Magriet Ortlep CA (SA) is our auditor.
We employ only five people as the majority of AFFT’s work is done by volunteers. A management committee (volunteers elected at the AGM) meets once a month. The Annual General Meeting normally takes place in May every year and all are welcome to attend.