Changing lives one meal at a time – by Steve Fleming
When people visit any one of JAM’s African programs, it usually proves to be a life-changing and inspiring experience. Pastor Steve Fleming, JAM Canada Board Member, shares his most recent experiences.
In 2011, together with my wife, Beth, we visited a number of nursery school makeovers and feeding programs in South Africa. It was difficult to learn that for many of children at the schools, it was their only meal of the day.
Through that experience, Beth and I were inspired to work with our church family at Koinonia Christian Fellowship (KCF) in Ontario, Canada, to sponsor a makeover that would see one of South Africa’s many needy nursery schools being revamped, receive learning material, as well as feeding sponsorship for one year. In 2012, Beth led a team of enthusiastic young adults on a week-long journey to South Africa to give disadvantaged children the gift of a healthy learning environment by completing a makeover.
Upon their return, the makeover group was in awe of the difference the newly renovated nursery school could make in the lives of the owner, children and the entire community. In South Africa’s impoverished communities, nursery schools give parents an opportunity to seek employment or find ways to generate income and make a living. Our church family at KCF became so attached to the nursery school that we decided to sponsor feeding at the school for another year.
Two years later, in August 2013, Beth and I were once again privileged to travel to South Africa, together with Rick and Cathy Ciaramitaro, to represent the JAM Canadian Board at the annual Affiliates Strategy meeting. During this trip, we thought it would be a good idea to visit another JAM program in the field. Together with Rick and Cathy, we headed to Mozambique where we visited to the Pambarra Life Centre (PLC) to see the progress that has been made on this training farm project. JAM is using the PLC to train local farmers and equip them with techniques to make their farming projects more sustainable and profitable.
While in Mozambique, we also got to see a feeding program at one of the local schools. Here we met children whose lives had been changed for the better because they were now able to attend school and get an education because now that they were guaranteed a meal each day they were at school, they were motivated to attend school. Additionally, those children who were struggling with il-health due to lack of the necessary nutrients, had become healthier and less prone to contract diseases.
The service that JAM provides to many African communities is not only important, but it is also necessary to help the millions of disadvantaged communities. Our trips to Africa have had a great impact on Beth and I; being a witness to JAM’s programs in action is both a privilege and honour.
Ps. Steve Fleming, JAM Canada Board Member.
Should you wish to volunteer or donate towards any of JAM’s programs in Africa, please contact JAM Canada on email: firstname.lastname@example.org