KFC, WFP unite to feed children

KFC, WFP unite to feed children

Rose Moremoholo

BUTHA-BUTHE

KFC Lesotho and World Food Programme (WFP) have joined hands to feed preschool children in five schools in Maseru and Butha-Buthe in a bid to encourage enrolment in preschools.

The feeding programme also aims at contributing to children’s preparedness for primary education and to heighten their participation in class and also to help prevent micronutrient deficiency.

The programme, called Add Hope, was launched in Manamela, Butha-Buthe, on Tuesday.

The WFP Country Director, Mary Njoroge, said the purpose of the joint programme is to reduce malnutrition and hunger in Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) schools.

KFC Lesotho has donated US$11 000 (approximately M165 000) for a full year buying of food for the five schools.

The first school to receive assistance under the school feeding programme from KFC is Manamela ECCD in Butha Buthe.

KFC’s Add Hope, a global initiative to improve the lives of millions of people struggling with hunger throughout the world, was introduced in South Africa in 2012.

“This launch marks the continuation of a partnership between Yum Brands, to which KFC Lesotho is affiliated to and the World Food Programme which dates back to 2008,” Njoroge said.

“It is important to note that the support from Yum came at a time when it was difficult for WFP to get funding for the school meal programme. This welcome collaboration with KFC Lesotho will see KFC supporting five preschools,” she said.

Njoroge said they would love to partner with more of private partners.

“We really thank KFC for taking such a bold step in committing to help feed the dreams of the young ones,” Njoroge said.

Lerato Majara, a senior official at KFC, said KFC Lesotho was delighted to join in the quest to fight hunger.

“We realised that the donations that were made in Lesotho would only feed children in South Africa. We then decided to pull out as KFC Lesotho because it was unfair that it was not our children that benefited from the donations,” Majara said.

Majara said when they pulled out they had to find a partner who would keep the money that is donated and see to it that it is used in the feeding of children.

“We had already known that KFC International works with WFP in this programme, we then built a partnership with the WFP country director (in Lesotho) to have this initiative in place”.

“WFP also knows where food is highly needed and they can help us choose ECCD schools in such areas,” Majara said.

Majara said they were then advised by WFP to set up their pilot school in Butha-Buthe at Manamela because there is a bigger need.

The project runs like this: when a person buys from any KFC outlet in Lesotho, M2 out of every purchase is donated to the preschool feeding programme.

The programme is called Add Hope.

“The programme is going to run for a year before we can ask for donations from willing Basotho givers,” Majara said.

The food which will be provided by KFC is, Pulse, cooking oil, fortified maize-meal and super cereals.

“As we can see, the food that will be provided to these children is healthy food. This is the kind of food we need for a good generation,” Njoroge said.

The Minister of Education, Mahali Phamotse, said they were very pleased to have private partners such as KFC to be partnering with the government and development partners.

“As the ministry we are working hard to have the private sector contribute in the education system and we are delighted that KFC has contributed even before it could be asked to do so,” Phamotse said.

Phamotse said preschool is an integral part of every child’s development.

“We have realised that preschool is a good foundation in attaining an educated future of pupils,” she said.

“We know that if this foundation of good education is not built right, the entire structure might collapse. We will have to find ourselves patching a new dress with an old fabric. This is where we start in opening doors to success.”

Phamotse said “with partners like this we are sure to see a brighter future”.

“We all know that Lesotho is well known for putting too much budget in getting Basotho educated and we appreciate when businesses such as KFC recognise our efforts and help us to reach where we cannot reach,” Phamotse said.

The Qalo MP, Leboea Mothuku, said they are happy as the constituency to be piloting a programme that will change children’s lives.

“We thank KFC and WFP to have come to this very council. We are forever forgotten but today we have been remembered. I am going to go back to parliament knowing that something good has happened for my people,” Mothuku said.

Relebohile Mfundisi, the Principal of Manamela ECCD, said they were very grateful to have received such a gift from KFC.

“As a school we suffer a lot and some children come to school without having had a meal,” Mfundisi said.

Manamela ECCD enrolls 46 children from the age two years to five years.

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