Saving children from the ravages of malnutrition for nearly 75 years

Established in 1945, the ACFS is a registered Non-Profit Organisation (NPO No. 001-213) and Public Beneficiary Organisation (PBO no. 930000475) which operates under the leadership of a Board of Trustees.

Ours was the original peanut butter sandwich and milk feeding scheme – and this humble meal remains at the core of our flagship feeding project.

Over the years, the organisation has grown and developed to provide a holistic programme aimed at enabling all children to reach their potential.

We now have 13 community centres in Soweto, Alexandra, Kagiso, Thembisa and Tsakane, where food is prepared and served to pre-schoolers and school children who have been identified as being at risk. Each centre has a well established communal food garden, where volunteers from the community grow vegetables for the feeding scheme, as well as for their own use.

The centres act as community hubs, providing early childhood development programmes and a range of support services for families – such as access to information and resources such as computers, skills training and personal development.

None of this would be possible without the support of thousands of caring South Africans – ordinary members of the public as well as influential businessmen and women – who provide the funds to sustain our organisation.

Mission

ACFS is dedicated to the development and protection of children and their families through a focus on improving access to nutrition, health, early learning and stimulation, as well as skills development.

Vision

For all children to reach their full potential.

OBJECTIVES

  • To create enabling environments where children can thrive and learn;
  • To help combat unemployment by training a variety of skills that enable and enhance income generating social enterprises, e.g. food gardens;
  • To create a safe, creative and an enabling environment that meets the unique needs of all children.

Steps to a better future

Children are weighed and measured at schools and clinics to identify those at risk.

Children are enrolled in our feeding scheme and their progress is monitored.

ACFS staff visit the families of under nourished children to learn their circumstances and assess their needs.

Families in need receive monthly food parcels to enable them to provide meals at home.

Toddlers are enrolled in our holistic care programme; they attend our centres daily, where they receive regular balanced meals and early childhood education.

Food gardening

Moms are encouraged to come to our centres and work in the communal food gardens – taking produce home to augment the family meals.

Women are encouraged to learn skills (sewing, beading, baking, etc) that will enable them to become self sufficient.

Young people have a safe space to discuss issues affecting them and develop resilience and skills for life.

meet the team

    Bertha Magoge
    Chief Executive Officer
      Sakhile Zungu
      Programmes Manager
        Nomboniso Mnyameni
        Finance Manager
          Nomthandozo Dhlamini
          Centre Manager
            Doreen Tlale
            Centre Manager
              Letta Xaba
              Programmes & Logistics
                Christine Call
                Donations Officer
                  Motsedis Thothela
                  Community Committee Co-ordinator
                    Jwalane Molaba
                    Food Gardening Co-ordinator
                      Smangele Sigasa
                      Project Co-ordinator
                        Nhlankanipho Langa
                        Computer Skills Co-ordinator
                          Lucky Ndzunga
                          Computer Skills Co-ordinator
                            Nokulunga Buthelezi
                            Reception & Admin

                            Board of Directors

                              Lwazi Bam (Chairman)
                              CEO Deloitte Africa
                                Bertha Magoge
                                CEO
                                ACFS
                                  Asanda Camagu
                                  HR Director
                                  Rentokil Initial
                                    Tracey Henry
                                    CEO
                                    Tshikululu Social Investments
                                    Andrea Maharaj
                                      Andrea Maharaj
                                      CEO
                                      Duo Textiles
                                      Jabu Mvubu
                                        Jabu Mvubu
                                        CEO
                                        Eliopax

                                        Message from our Chairman, Lwazi Bam

                                        South Africa remains a highly unequal society and there are vast inequalities in children’s circumstances and opportunities from the moment they are born (SA ECR 2019).

                                        From its very beginning, ACFS Community Education and Feeding Scheme has understood that it is critically important to level the playing field to ensure that all children are able to reach their full potential. Among the challenges faced by South African children are poverty, violence, hunger and a lack of educational opportunities. Despite its status as a middle-income country with a relatively high per capita income, South Africa has high levels of child malnutrition.

                                        According to SA ECR 2019:

                                        • 65% of young children live in households below the poverty line
                                        • 27% of children under five are stunted – a sign of chronic malnutrition that compromises their health, education and employment prospects
                                        • 42% of children have experienced some form of abuse (whether sexual, physical, emotional or neglect).
                                        • 58% of children cannot read fluently and with comprehension at the end of grade 4

                                        It is against this backdrop that ACFS, established over 74 years ago, continues to work with children and their families in the under resourced townships and communities of Soweto, Alexandra, Thembisa and Tsakane.

                                        The bulk of our work involves targeted identification and assessment of children and families from poor and food insecure households. Our aim is to provide a welcoming and enabling environment where nutritional support, together with other early foundation services is delivered – all geared to providing disadvantaged children with the support they need to achieve their potential.

                                        With the arrival of the fourth industrial revolution, technology is fundamentally changing the world, as we knew it. Educational systems and labour markets are fast changing and, in some instances, even rendering some professions obsolete.

                                        The challenge for ACFS is to adapt as an organisation to ensure that we future-proof children. We find ourselves needing to embark on a journey to professionalise the organisation, staff and the services we offer to children and communities.

                                        Our planning has also focused on the creation of an endowment facility, as well as establishing vigorous and diverse income streams in order to overcome the effects of the challenging global and local economic conditions.

                                        I want to express my sincere appreciation to all the donors who have committed to our work. Without your support, we could not have accomplished anything. I invite all our friends to continue to support the disadvantaged South African Child.

                                        Thank you!

                                        Lwazi Bam
                                        ACFS Chairman of the Board

                                        Historical pics

                                        75 years of caring

                                        Our history goes back to 1945, when the late Bishop Trevor Huddleston started soup kitchens in winter for hungry children in Alexandra and Soweto.

                                        Five years later, the first permanent feeding centre was established and the scheme was feeding 4 000 children daily.

                                        From the start, we understood that handouts were not a lasting solution. The tragedy of malnourished children was caused by poverty and lack of knowledge – and the focus of the scheme turned to health education and skills development programmes aimed at helping poverty-stricken people to become economically independent.

                                        Over the years, 13 community centres were built in the worst affected areas of Soweto, Alexandra, Kagiso, Tembisa and Tsakane. Food is prepared at each centres, and children registered with the scheme would come at break time or after school for their daily peanut butter sandwich and cup of milk.

                                        In addition, six vans and five tri-cars were used to deliver meals to needy children not within walking distance of a centre. These children received a portion of processed cheese, containing the equivalent calcium and minerals, instead of the milk.

                                        A further 300 High School children are served hot meals prepared at the schools, using ingredients donated by our caring partners. Pre-school children attend two of our centres where they receive meals and participate in early education programmes.

                                        Records are kept for each child – and failure to collect their meal acts as a warning that something may be amiss at home; one of our sisters will then call to check on the family at home.

                                        Communal vegetables gardens were established at each centre, and families of children enrolled in the scheme are encouraged to work in the gardens and learn skills that enable them to start their own small veggie patch at home.

                                         

                                        “God bless Africa,
                                        Guard her people,
                                        Guide her leaders,
                                        And bring her peace.”

                                        Bishop Trevor Huddleston, founder of ACFS

                                        Partners and sponsors

                                        ACFS is indebted to a wide circle of individual donors, companies and foundations who take a keen interest in our work and help with gifts of time, items, or cash. We are extremely grateful to our partners below. If your company is interested in supporting our work, please contact Bertha Magoge by emailing Bertha@acfs.org.za

                                        Copyright © 2019 ACFS. All Rights Reserved.