Vusumuzi Hlongwane completed his matric at the wonderful age of 62. Always wanting to help his community, his dreams were thwarted when his mother passed away and he had to halt his education as a child. Yet, sheer determination allowed him to achieve what not many others tackle at his age. Now, a few years later, he heads up the successful NGO, Thulani Dlamini Home-based Care in Ferreirastown, and is making a considerable difference in the lives of many in this Gauteng community.
The harsh reality in South Africa is that almost twelve million people go to bed hungry each night. Many of these empty bellies are found in households where one granny looks after several orphaned grandkids on a meager pension. For Vusumuzi it was impossible to sit back and witness people starving, so he called in the assistance of food manufacturing business, Tiger Brands. With their ethos of helping needy communities, Tiger Brands started providing food hampers to the grannies in Vusumuzi’s community on a monthly basis. Designed by a nutritionist, the food hampers are nutritive and balanced, and are sufficient to feed a family of between four and six people for an entire month.
The harsh reality in South Africa is that almost twelve million people go to bed hungry each night. Many of these empty bellies are found in households where one granny looks after many orphaned grandkids on a meager pension.
In Stellenbosch, the Kayamandi-based organisation, Love to Give, is another beneficiary of the Tiger Brands food hampers. In the 13 years they have been working in Kayamandi, they have managed to reduce the child malnutrition statistics in the area from 75 percent to a mere two percent. Annabel Rosholt, founder of Love to Give, believes that people have enormous untapped potential, and when offered the chance, can rise out of their situations. Nono Gqabaza, a 64-year old granny and beneficiary of Love to Give, looks after a household of 10, and had to, at her age, learn how to use a laptop. She is immensely proud of her achievement, and very grateful that she can provide meals for her kids.
In addition to feeding people, it is extremely important to Tiger Brands that communities do not become reliant on the food hampers, but instead become sustainably independent. Through collaborations with implementation partners such as Food and Trees for Africa, Tiger Brands are able to educate these communities in organic farming practices, and assist with the modernisation of their existing community food gardens. By teaching them to farm sustainably, communities learn how to be independent, which frees Tiger Brands up to also help in other areas. In partnership with organisations like Love to Give, Food and Trees for Africa, Thulani Dlamini Home-based Care, and many others, Tiger Brands manages to feed more than 30 000 people per month. These feeding schemes, paired with the implementation of sustainable food gardens, demonstrate Tiger Brands’ commitment to responsible corporate citizenry, and allow them to truly leave a legacy of sustainability in the communities where they work.