Our activities Thursday started in a classroom at Camps Bay High School. David, a representative of Stop Hunger Now spoke to our students about the NGO's work in feeding children from the ages of 0 to 5.
The government has a feeding program for school age children, but only a small percentage of those under 6 are fed. The challenge is that day cares that meet certain regulations for staffing and physical space get government subsidies for food, but the poorest day cares do not.
His NGO works with local grocery stores corporate funders and schools to raise funds to feed children in preschool. They have a meal made of beans, lentils, rice and vitamins that volunteers assemble, often as a team building activity so that they can feed 20 kids 12 meals for $80, about 30 cents per meal.
Our first mission was to deliver these food packages to three daycares. We also brought books and pipe cleaners and Playdoh for the kids. This turned out to be some very rough work as we saw poverty the likes of which we had not experienced.
We traveled through an informal settlement in Crossroads, walked to the end of the street, and found a shack about 12 by 12 with no electricity and running water. There were 20 children there who came each day.
Our kids quickly were on the ground with kids in their laps laughing and building blocks. Axle had kids flopping on top of him and Daria had two kids in her arms.
Several South African exchange students came with us as well. Their rotary interact club is thinking of adopting this crèche to support over the coming year. The thought is that Conard and Hall can be part of this as well.
The students showed their humanity in so quickly bridging the gap between their life experiences and those who had so little. Yet the commonalities of touch, play, and a smile crossed oceans.
The students came away with a much more complex view if the issues of poverty and a willingness to be part of the conversation and some action.
Your blogger had the chance to make a return ride up Chapmans Peak in the late afternoon. I think it has to be the most beautiful ride in the world – 20 kilometers around Haut Bay that takes your breath away!
Today we are on to the Cape of Good Hope and the penguins. Only two more days here!