One thousand of Johannesburg’s poorest families have received desperately needed food parcels as a result of a collaborative effort by Afrika Tikkun and the Hudaco Group in honour of Mandela Day 2013.
The organisations joined forces again this year to honour the 95th birthday of Nelson Mandela, former South African president and internationally recognised human rights icon, says Jonny Masinga, Hudaco group human resources and transformation executive.
“Mandela Day, commemorated throughout the world since 2008, acknowledges the 67 years that Madiba gave to the fight for justice and human rights in South Africa. Intended to honour him and ensure that his legacy lives on, Mandela Day calls for people to give 67 minutes of their time to a charity or to serving their communities and thereby make the world a better place.”
According to Nancy Chimhandamba, communications manager of Afrika Tikkun, South Africa has enough food to feed the entire population. However, the reality according to a study by the University of Cape Town is very different. “In Johannesburg alone, 43% of the poor, at least one-fifth of whom are children, face death by starvation and malnutrition,” she says. “Faced with terminal hunger and Jo’burg’s icy winters, life becomes a bleak picture for the vulnerable among us.”
Determined to make a tangible difference to their lives this winter, Hudaco and Afrika Tikkun, of which Nelson Mandela is patron-in-chief, threw their efforts into a project called “The Big Bin Food Collection”. Hudaco members gave so generously that they ended up filling their delivery truck with non-perishable groceries, reports Masinga.
“Moments like these make me feel both proud and humble to be a part of the Hudaco family,” he says. “It was heart-warming to see employees from all 21 businesses pull together as one, a unity which illustrates the direction in which this great country is heading and makes me proud to be a South African.”
Having distributed the food parcels to the needy, Afrika Tikkun will now focus on helping those in need to become self-sustaining by teaching them how to plant and manage their own food gardens.
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