When you were five years old, what did you tell your parents you would be when you grew up? Perhaps a teacher, or a fireman? For little five-year-old Jordan Stevens, his dream is to be a policeman so that he can “help people”. But it’s only recently that Jordan has had the energy to even consider his future, and that is because of a JAM South Africa intervention at his preschool.
You see, Jordan has a severe lung disease called Tuberculosis. A lung disease that saps the energy of anyone who has it and grows progressively worse if their immune system drops.
Jordan’s mother, Jeanine, is well aware of the dangers of Tuberculosis and the necessity for quality nutrition as she regularly takes Jordan for check-ups at the local clinic. Jeanine has also been struggling for a long time to find consistent work and money is a constant worry, so finding ways to get Jordan the nutrition he needs has been very difficult for her.
When Jordan joined the ABC day care centre in Klapmuts in the Western Cape, his mother was delighted to find that the children at ABC day care centre receives the JAM CSS+ porridge. Jordan loves the porridge and refuses to engage in any activity until he has had his delicious breakfast.
Jeanine, the clinic sister’s working with Jordan and the teachers at his school have noticed a marked difference in Jordan as he has steadily gained weight and now has the energy to run and play with his friends at school and at home.
“My boy is finally able to jump, run and laugh,” says Jeanine with a smile, “he even gets up to mischief sometimes.” She says with a relieved laugh.
As Jordan’s health continues to improve, he has the energy to learn better, to play more and to dream about his future. A future that is brighter because of JAM and the food he receives.
Worldwide research indicates that an investment in Early Childhood Development (ECD) gives a far greater return on investment than at any other stage of education. Hungry children cannot learn. In South Africa, more than a quarter of children under the age of 9 years suffer from stunted growth because they have not had sufficient nutrition to enable proper brain and physical development.
JAM South Africa normally feeds over 120 000 children in more than 3000 centres across all nine provinces in the country (Gauteng, Limpopo, KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape, Western Cape, Free State, North West, Northern Cape and Mpumalanga).
The focus on Early Childhood Development (ECD) centres is aimed at:
- Saving lives
- Promoting education
- Developing communities
One day when Jordan becomes a policeman, we hope he will be able to help people in his community, just like your contribution to JAM South Africa has helped him.
To support these programmes, and help bring about a better future for countless South African children, donate here