COVID-19 has highlighted massive inequalities faced by the world’s most vulnerable in terms of health and food security. The two are not mutually exclusive, without proper nutrition, health is sure to deteriorate. With failing health, lack of sufficient food and nutrients could result in worsening conditions and ultimately, death. In many instances, the lack of decent healthcare facilities further exacerbates the situation for such communities.
In Angola, prior to Coronavirus school shutdowns, nutritional school feeding was being concentrated in the Benguela and Kwanza Sul provinces. School children received meals of our specially fortified Corn Soya Blend (CSB) porridge that aims to improve their nutritional well-being and alleviate short-term hunger.
JAM Angola’s nutritional interventions are focussed on acutely malnourished children as well as pregnant and breastfeeding women. Provision of life-saving therapeutic milk is administered at the various outpatient therapeutic sites across the province of Benguela. This is further boosted by the provision of nutrient-dense rice take-home rations supplied by JAM food partner, Feed My Starving Children.
Monitoring and evaluation is a continuous process in order to ensure that JAM’s initial care is not short-lived, and that treatment for these individuals is sustainable.
In Mozambique, nutritional school feeding is concentrated in the Inhambane and Sofala provinces (pre-Corona school shutdowns) where JAM reaches in excess of 19 000 school children daily through the provision of our fortified Corn Soya Blend (CSB) porridge. Further initiatives include school gardening which is maintained by parent-teacher organisations and the pupils themselves, in an effort to incorporate learning as well as provide fresh vegetables for diet diversification.
In an effort to further assist in struggling communities, those worst- affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, JAM Mozambique has also provided food assistance in the form of take-home rations with hampers consisting of maize, beans, sugar, oil, soap and fresh vegetables.
JAM South Africa’s focus is on Early Childhood Development (ECD) with children under the age of five receiving food and nutritional support. It is JAM’s belief that hungry children cannot learn and without education, there can be no development. Passionate about those we serve, we will not rest until we realise a South Africa without vulnerable children. Sadly, in South Africa, approximately two million children go to bed hungry every day. These children miss out on the vital nutrients necessary for their physical and cognitive development, which may have a devastating impact on their future.
During normal, school operating periods, pre-Coronavirus, JAM South Africa feeds approximately 120 000 young children across all nine provinces in the country. This is done in partnership with nearly 3000 ECD centres, those who provide a warm bowl of our JAM porridge every school day to young beneficiaries. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, JAM South Africa has continued to provide assistance to these young children and their families even as schools remained closed.
The Coronavirus continues to destroy the future of the most vulnerable.
We must not falter, and our response must not slow.
What we do today, in all our efforts, will determine a better tomorrow.
JAM’s aim to ensure an Africa that thrives will only be possible through the continued efforts of our teams on the ground, amongst the people, saving and changing lives.
We remain committed to fighting hunger across Africa, and bringing hope to the continent.
Global CEO and Co-founder