EMPOWERMENT ZONE THROUGH WEEKLY COLUMNS

#SocioeconomicIssues: Inequality and Poverty Alleviation

THIS has always been one of the topics that are close to my heart. There is nothing more heart-breaking than seeing our people suffer on a daily basis. 

It is really sad to hear stories of homes where people go to sleep hungry or not know what they will eat the following day. This column does not only aim to highlight this problem but also provide solutions where possible to those that need it most.

I must say that even though I see so much inequality and poverty in the country – I am encouraged by the kindness that I have seen from South Africans where a person will write a message on Twitter about their plight and this country’s people respond by donating towards food, electricity and sometimes even education costs. 

I was also encouraged to find out that some corporate also do their part – for instance KFC that donates nutritional meals to schools in the country. The KFC mealie pap just needs hot water, and a needy person can eat a nutritious meal for the day.

In my years of working as a PR person in the Corporate Social Investment (CSI) space, when we visited schools to maybe donate computers – we would find out that the needs of the learners were far more basic than that. 

I have always taken time to speak to the school principal or a teacher responsible for the project to understand the other needs of the learners. 

It is quite devastating the stories that I heard of children fainting during the school assembly because of hunger and the fact that starvation even affected their concentration in class.

So, my question is – should we not go back to how we used to do things at schools where learners were part of taking care of the school yards and gardens. Of course, for gardening projects to succeed we would need both private organisations of all sizes and individuals from communities to donate seeds to schools, some water tanks to keep rainwater so that we can go back to having vegetable gardens at schools.

These vegetables can be sold for the school to make money for essentials needed to start a soup kitchen for learners, complemented by a donations of bread. 

Some of these vegetables can be given to children that come from homes that need these basics the most. I am not saying this is that solution to everything, it is definitely a start, right?

I have also found out that there are quite a number of organisations across the country that are there to assist in poverty alleviation through food donations. 

Some of these organisations have a national reach and can be accessed from any province in the country through volunteers that are placed in different areas. These include:

▪ Megas in Motion – www.megasinmotion.co.za

▪ Khula Khanye NPO – https://khula-khanye-non-profit.business.site/#gallery

▪ iThemba Project – https://www.facebook.com/IThemba-Project-102463441487011/

To learn about the work done by the Food Bank SA and how they assist in food security, go to: https://www.linkedin.com/company/foodbank-sa

Miranda Lusiba is the Founding Director of Strangé Consulting – a boutique PR Agency specialising in Communications, Freelance Writing: Content Development and Storytelling, Media Relations, Reputation Management and Media Training. #povertyalleviation

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