By Andrew McGregor
An ugly South African statistic is that one in five children go to school without breakfast, a fact that is stated in our forthcoming report on the manufacture of breakfast cereals. While there have been many instances of poor behaviour and weak governance by corporate South Africa, an enormous direct social contribution is also made by business and this report highlights initiatives by some of the main players in this sector namely Tiger Brands, Pioneer Foods, Kellogg’s and Future Life.
Tiger’s Jungle Oats division provides a healthy breakfast to 64,080 learners in 92 beneficiary schools and the Tiger Brands Foundation in conjunction with 13 NGOs and four universities provides a meal to a further 40,000 people. The Kellogg’s ‘Breakfast for Better days’ initiative has served more than 13 million breakfasts to 25,000 learners in 56 schools and the Pioneer Department of Basic Education National School Nutrition Programme provides lunch to 10 million learners in 21,177 schools. Future Life focuses on children in Early Childhood Development Centres where they serve 150,000 nutritious meals daily.
Credit should be given where credit is due.
A personal feel good story is that of my brother Guy and his wife Liza who founded an early learning school for the children of seasonal agricultural workers in the informal settlement next to Grabouw in the Western Cape. The school, which was founded in 2005 and is funded by donors, now can accommodate 145 pupils and employs five qualified teachers including the principal. The children enjoy a hot meal in a safe environment while their parents are in the fields and there is an early learning curriculum to prepare them for admission to the local primary school. Have a look at their website www.ikhwezi-educare.org.za.