Philippi Township, Cape Town, South Africa, 15th September 2016.
Afri-CAN Charity is pleased to announce it has provided over 100,000 Free School Breakfasts since the inception of it’s Free School Breakfast Programme launched in August 2014, that number has now risen to over 350,000 breakfasts on an annualised basis in various townships in Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa.
Afri-CAN Free School Breakfast Programme was launched to provide free school breakfasts for the most vulnerable children aged between 1 and 6 years old in the townships of Cape Town. The recipient children currently attend Early Childhood Development Nurseries (ECDs) in the townships of Philippi, Langa, Crossroads and Khayelitsha.The breakfasts are in accordance with the nutritional requirements approved by both UNICEF and the South African Government.
Camille Paterson, ECD Programme Director for Afri-CAN Charity said ‘It is crystal clear that unless these young children get a nutritious breakfast every school day, their capacity to concentrate, to learn and to enjoy pre-school is diminished to a detrimental degree that will effect their physical and mental development. Hungry children cannot learn and we want to give these young children, from some of the the very poorest communities in the world, every possible chance to successfully go on to the next stage of their education.’
Undernourished children in South Africa can suffer from stunting, a condition that leaves children years behind normal development caused by malnutrition. Stunting not only affects a child’s body; it also has an impact on brain development. Stunted children are more likely to fall behind at school, miss key milestones in education such as reading and math, and go on to live in poverty. UNICEF found that 11.4% of deaths of South African children under five can be attributed to low weight, making low birth weight the second most prominent cause of children’s death in South Africa. Based on such statistics, too many children living in South Africa are disadvantaged because of limited access to nutritious meals.
Principal Luleka Mjezu, Enkuthazweni ECD in Khayelitsha said ‘I am so grateful to Afri-CAN Charity for feeding the children in my nursery school. I have seen a great increase in their attention and engagement during classes. A nutritious breakfast is key to starting their learning day.’
Stefan Allesch-Taylor CBE, Afri-CAN Charity Chairman said ‘Providing over 200,000 free school breakfasts annually is a key milestone for us. Our mission is to tackle poverty in all its guises in the townships of South Africa. Food poverty is one of those. We will seek to double the number of children receiving these free school breakfasts over the next year. In terms of demonstrable impact there is no doubt that we are giving these vulnerable young kids the first tool to build a fulfilling life for themselves, without which their prospects are extremely bleak, education is the only way out of the cycle of poverty for millions of children in South Africa.’
About Afri-CAN Charity
Founded and Chaired by British entrepreneur and philanthropist Stefan Allesch-Taylor CBE, Afri-CAN Charity, registered in South Africa, was founded in 2008. The charity’s mission is to create, finance and mentor sustainable programs, NGOs and social ventures in Sub-Saharan Africa to alleviate poverty and hunger, to improve education, to provide skills training, and to provide employment within the poorest communities.