•Nutritious mix is reducing malnutrition in kids
MORE than 6000 young children in the East London and King William’s Town area are fed nutritious porridge every day, thanks to JAM (Joint Aid Management).
The organisation began as a response to the refugee crisis in Mozambique in 1984 and has grown to address issues of malnutrition in impoverished communities in Angola, South Sudan and South Africa.
In South Africa, JAM supplies food mainly to Early Childhood Development (ECD) centres in need, as well as orphanages and children’s homes. They collaborate with other NGOs and Gately Rotary to identify ECDs in need.
So far, they have reached eight of the nine provinces and feed 84000 children every day in South Africa and 1.2 million children worldwide, but aim to expand even further.
The corn-soya mixture supplies each child with 75% of the recommended daily micro-nutrients required for healthy living.
Regional coordinator Asekho Motabene said: “Most of the centres we support in the East London area are not supported by [the department of] social development because they do not meet the required standard.”
JAM and Rotary assist by helping teachers receive adequate teaching qualifications so they can better serve the children.
JAM South Africa managing director David Brown said: “26% percent of children under six in South Africa are stunted, which means they don’t receive enough nutrients for their brains and bodies to develop properly.
“In Limpopo, we saw that within seven months of receiving the porridge, the incidents of stunting were reduced by 40%.
“Our role is to address the nutritional issue before anything else. Then once that issue is addressed, we can look at assisting with infrastructure and teacher training.”
Most of their work is funded by KFC Add Hope, which is the R2 optional extra you add to the bill of any meal you purchase. The balance of funding is sourced through individuals, corporations and churches.
It costs only R30 to feed a child per month and R360 per year.
Centres are supplied with a 25kg bag of dry porridge and red bowls, where the porridge can be served.
GO! & Express visited Sikhulile Daycare Centre in Duncan Village along with JAM members to hear how the product has helped them.
Teacher Zukiswa Phungu said: “We cater for 170 children at our creche and receive funding for 60 children from social development. They give us R15 per child.
“Since we have been helped by JAM, the children have become more active and hardly get sick.
“They have good skin and a lot of energy. Before we would use the funds from social development to buy mealie-meal, but now we can use that money elsewhere.
“One child arrived here who was very weak, didn’t associate well with other children and didn’t have an appetite for eating.
“He also had a skin rash and was underweight.
“Now we have observed that he has improved and associates better with other children, has better skin and has picked up weight.”
Motabene said: “Young South Africans deserve a better future. Better nutrition will mean a better future.”
To give money or your time to the cause, contact Asekho on 082-320-5211 or www.jam-southafrica.org