South Africa is suffering. The strict Covid19 lockdown has had devastating economic consequences for the country and on already impoverished communities.
About 56% of the South African population live in poverty and more than 28% in extreme poverty, below the food poverty line.
Without the help of local organisations many children in the area would go to bed hungry.
The project focus on capacity building of three small civil society organisations (CSO) in Grabouw and Elgin Valley: Bethesda Kids, Soul Food Harmony and House of Elohim. They have worked with food relief since the start of the pandemic.
They work in three of the poorest areas in the town and valley, which includes informal areas with no sewages, access to water or electricity. Here they help people most in need. Which are mainly children, pregnant mothers, elderly, homeless and people with disabilities and on chronic medication (ART therapy for HIV/AIDS).
Through the project we can empower Bethesda Kids, Soul Food Harmony and House of Elohim to advocate against the growing issue of food insecurity in Grabouw and Elgin Valley – and to create awareness about health and nutrition in the communities where they work.
They need to know their rights to access land and water – and how to apply for small pockets of land for small-scale farming. They also need to build their knowledge on diet-related illnesses and to understand how a poor diet affect people with chronic diseases. They will also recieve training in nutrition and learn how to cook with local and healthy produce on a low budget.
Another part of the project is to construct a community kitchen at Bethesda Kids.
Currently the founder of the organisation is cooking out of his own kitchen for hundreds of people every day.
The goal is to see the community kitchen not only as providing food, but as a place where community members can ask for advice on how to maintain their own food gardens. Where they can receive seedlings and guidance on how to start growing their own food at home.
It will also function as a chronic medication pick up spot and help community members in need of referrals to health care workers.