Reaching out to keep hunger pangs at bay
In a bid to save hundreds of children from starvation, the feeding of primary school pupils has been taken over by non-governmental organisations.
The children have been without food since Eastern Cape Premier Nosimo Balindlela suspended the school nutrition programme amid allegations of unaccounted funds amounting to R100million.
The Imbewu Community Volunteers Project (ICVP) has taken the initiative and volunteered to provide children from poor communities with meals.
ICVP president Mike Phantsi said the organisation had been feeding schools in Port Elizabeth since 2001.
The programme started with 12 children and today they take regular care of 250 children.
He said 100 of these children are sponsored by the world number one tennis player, Roger Federer.
Phantsi said they cook food and feed about 1000 school children a day.
"This project has empowered 12 women. They are volunteers, but we give them something to say thanks," he said.
The chairman of Masibambane Africa Action Group, Ready Valela, said they would like to go the extra mile if they could only receive funds.
"We did this because of reports we receivedabout children fainting in class during teaching time because of hunger," Valela said.
Phantsi said their challenge at the moment is to get local sponsors to support and give something to this initiative.