Durban, 18 September 2020: Today the world-renowned adventurer and humanitarian, Kingsley Holgate, set out with his son Ross on an epic 70-day, 10 000km “Mzansi Edge” quest.
Not only are they tracking the geographical outline of South Africa, but they are bringing much-needed aid to vulnerable young children in remote communities near wildlife areas – which have been hard hit by the loss of tourism income during the COVID-19 lockdown.
To help alleviate hunger and raise the profile of early childhood development (ECD) as a vital element of social investment, the DO MORE FOUNDATION is partnering with the Kingsley Holgate Foundation to provide packs of highly fortified instant sorghum porridge to these vulnerable communities that are literally and figuratively living ‘on the edge’.
Produced by RCL FOODS at cost for donation purposes only through its DO MORE FOUNDATION, the newly-launched porridge with its distinctive blue DO MORE FOUNDATION-branded pack has become known and loved in wildlife communities as the ‘blue porridge’. With important Covid-19 awareness messaging provided on pack, it is a major step for the Foundation in providing nutritious food to those at the greatest risk of hunger – particularly young children whose futures depend on adequate healthy food in order that they develop properly, both cognitively and physically.
“We are excited to be providing the Kingsley Holgate Foundation with our DO MORE sorghum porridge for distribution at ECD centres across eight provinces – a total of 250 000 meals,” says DO MORE FOUNDATION Executive and Trustee, Warren Farrer.
For Farrer, it is significant that the Kingsley Holgate Foundation has chosen early childhood nutrition and the distribution of early learning materials as the humanitarian focus of its latest expedition. “It is a reflection of the dire need that exists nationally – both in and out of COVID-19 – to create better tomorrows for young children,” he says.
Farrer explains that with 90% of brain growth taking place before the age of five, early childhood is the most important phase of human development. Chronic undernutrition during this period has significant and lasting impacts on a child’s future, severely affecting their health and their ability to learn. Alarmingly, an unacceptable 27% of South African children under the age of five are stunted.
“With 2.5 million children already living below the food poverty line before the COVID-19 pandemic, one can only imagine how stunting among young children will increase going forward – and with it a host of long-term negative health and social consequences. There’s an urgent need for concerted action to address both the causes and effects of the problem, and this is where we, together with other civil society organisations and Government, are working to make a difference. The message is simple: the more we do together and in the right places, the more effective we will be,” says Farrer.
For the DO MORE FOUNDATION, partnering with the Kingsley Holgate Foundation in the Mzansi Edge expedition is not just about bringing food relief to those most in need, it is about showing the plight of remote communities that are often forgotten, listening to their stories and giving a voice to young children who are unable to speak for themselves.
“If we want to arrest the poverty cycle and give children the future they deserve, we need to #DoMore to ensure that those at risk have access to proper nutrition and other essential services,” says Farrer.
An easy way to make a difference to this vital cause is to take up the #2020 Challenge. By World Food Day 2020 (16 October) the DO MORE FOUNDATION is aiming to secure nutritional meals for 20,000 vulnerable young children every school day for the next 20 months. For as little as R20/month for 20 months, South Africans can be part of the movement that is improving the lives of young children across the country. Help us create better tomorrows by taking up the #2020Challenge today.
For more information on the DO MORE FOUNDATION and to donate towards its #2020 Challenge, please visit the DO MORE FOUNDATION website at www.domore.org.za
Kingsley Holgate ready to hit the trail and raise awareness around early childhood development