For 71 years friends like you have made our work possible ...
Peer training in action
The Kagiso sewing group’s been running at our Kagiso Feeding Centre for three years. Beatrice Sikulume started the group by teaching her sewing skills to other ladies, and the group now makes shweshwe skirts, pillow cases, bags, comforters and patchworks.
This method of peer training, where those with skills share their skills with others, is encouraged by the ACFS. “Some ladies arrive here without any skills. They can’t even thread a needle. But by the time they leave, they can cut out a design, thread and sew. They go home and can use their skills to earn an income,” says Beatrice. The Kagiso Centre feeds 1 800 children while 66 families work here and grow food. “I don’t know where we would be without this centre,” she says.
Easing the bite of holiday hunger
Children don’t stop feeling hungry just because it’s a school holiday – which is why we don’t stop our school feeding programme during the holidays. This is a huge relief to poor families who can’t afford to take over the cost of extra meals when government free school meals stop during holidays.
Children who rely on these schemes are noticeably physically weaker after the holidays. This rise in ‘holiday hunger’ is of grave concern. During 2015/16, there were about 3 000 cases of severe acute malnutrition at Gauteng schools; of these, 1 500 children were admitted for treatment, and tragically, 113 died.
Undeterred by broken tiles
From our very first premises in Sophiatown, we’ve always owned our centres.
“We now own 10 feeding centres. Our founders were very organised. It was a very good idea to build our own centres. But it’s important that we maintain these premises and their value,” says Phindi.
That’s why the ACFS is still raising money to repair broken floor tiles at Meadowlands, Jabavu and Emdeni.
If you’d like to support this programme, please contact Phindile Hlalele at 011 839-2630. Thank you!
Where there's a will, there's a way
Visitors to our feeding centres often remark on the tyre gardens that are dotted all around our premises. When planted with vegetables, the tyres create valuable growing space. ACFS area managers often make house calls to check that families are growing their own food, either in gardens, old tyres and baths, or even large maize meal bags. The bags are a popular option among families that don’t own their homes, and might have to move at short notice.
With thousands of mouths to feed each day, we’ve learnt how to cater on an industrial scale – and that means all our purchases and cooking methods are supersized!
Here, a giant batch of powdered milk is being mixed up.
Five tricycles are used to deliver food to outlying areas.
Children in these areas receive cheese instead of milk, as it’s not practical to deliver liquid by bike.
Doing it for themselves
At ACFS, we promote the concept of ‘hands up, not hands out’.
“We believe people should do things for themselves. And that’s why visitors to our centres will always find community members industriously at work: be it tending our vegetable gardens, or doing crafts like beadwork and sewing to improve their earning capacity,” says ACFS Executive Director, Phindi Hlalele.