JAM Celebrates 30 years of Helping Africa Help Itself
On the 21st of August, JAM commemorated 30 years of service on the African continent at a gala event in Johannesburg, South Africa.
In 1984, JAM’s Group CEO, Peter Pretorius, founded JAM after he witnessed countless deaths from starvation while he was stranded at a relief camp in Pambarra, Mozambique. After returning to South Africa, Peter, with the support of his wife Ann, established JAM primarily as a relief-feeding organisation. JAM has since grown to work in five African nations, feeding over 1.1 million beneficiaries daily.
Together with partners, donors and colleagues from around the world, JAM’s co-founders, Peter and Ann, retraced our unique journey during the celebratory event. It has been a journey that has seen millions of lives in Africa touched and transformed over the past three decades. JAM has attained global recognition for its work in alleviating hunger and helping impoverished communities in Africa.
Over the past three decades, JAM has grown significantly and evolved into an organisation that focuses extensively on nutrition, agricultural development, vulnerable childcare, skills development, and water, sanitation & hygiene services in South Africa, Mozambique, Angola, South Sudan and Rwanda. JAM has forged partnerships with some of the world’s largest humanitarian development organisations such as the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the European Union (EU), corporates as well as local and national government agencies.
JAM’s independently registered charity offices known within the global family as ‘affiliate’/support offices are located in the USA, Canada, Switzerland, South Africa, Germany and the United Kingdom. These offices focus on marketing and developing partnership ventures to advance the organisation’s work in Africa. Through this grassroots level approach, JAM can and continues to assist the poorest people in Africa.
Through partnerships and collaboration, JAM has constructed orphanages for children who were victims of war and famine in Mozambique and genocide in Rwanda, drilled over 2,500 water wells, established hundreds of community and school gardens and agricultural/farming projects, built food factories and served over 1.2 billion meals to the hungry. These are significant achievements dedicated to improving the quality of life for the communities we serve in Africa.
JAM is on the frontlines of the humanitarian crisis in South Sudan where we are providing emergency relief to 694,000 people. In July, the United Nations (UN) Security Council described the escalating humanitarian crisis in South Sudan as “catastrophic” and that “food insecurity in South Sudan is now the worst in the world.”
The gala event was held at the Avianto Village Hotel in Muldersdrift, Johannesburg. The evening’s theme ‘A Heart for Africa’ afforded guests the opportunity for meaningful connection with those who, in some way or another, have contributed to JAM’s story of bringing transformation and hope that has spanned 30 years. The event’s theme represented JAM and our donors’ compassion towards the people of Africa.
The evening was a time for the global JAM family to remember those who have given so much through JAM and to the people of Africa. It was not only an opportunity to reminisce and remind ourselves why we remain dedicated to serving our fellow Africans, but was also an opportunity for JAM to inspire others into the next 30 years of our life-changing work in Africa.