Teacher initiates feeding scheme

Ukhanyo Primary School principal Michael Thyali, volunteer Charmaine French and Precious Lives Matter's Life Ndlovu.

A school teacher is behind
a project in Masiphumelele that is feeding children during the national lockdown.

Life Ndlovu saw the need for this after school meals, served as part of the Western Cape Education Department’s national school nutrition programme, stopped at Ukhanyo Primary School on March 18 following President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement of early school closures.

Ms Ndlovu is a Grade 4 teacher at Ukhanyo Primary and also the director of a local non-profit company, Precious Lives Matter.

The first donations to her feeding scheme came from a good friend, Charmaine French, who donated vegetables and some money. Ms French later recruit-
ed some of her friends to support the project and approached lo-
cal supermarkets to see if they could buy food at reduced pri-

“I have known Life for many years and she is hard working and dedicated, and I have supported her with previous projects through the years. It was unacceptable to think that there were children
with no food during this time,
and I wanted to support her with this worthy cause,” Ms French

Ukhanyo Primary School principal Michael Tyhali let them use the school kitchen and through his NPO, Imbizo Beacon of
Hope, more volunteers were recruited and now large pots of soup are prepared daily and distributed to children at locations across the township. According to
Mr Tyhali, the children bring their own containers and queue 1.5 metres apart. Their hands are sanitised and once food has been dished up, the children have
to go home and are not allowed to sit down and eat the food

Afrika Tikkun, an NPO mobilising a community-level response to Covid-19 in townships, is now also supporting Precious Lives
Matter, by donating food hampers to families in need. Afrika Tikkun work in partnership with the National Solidarity Fund.

Ms Ndlovu said families would collect their parcels from the school. They would be sent an SMS alert with a unique code for gate access and must adhere to the special instructions to collect their parcels.

Masicorp, a local NPO, is also distributing food parcels donated by Rise Against Hunger and
food vouchers for local supermarkets to the families of children who attend its pre-school facilities.

“More than 270 children received parcels which will assist their families during a time when many are not able to earn an income. The parcels contained vouchers as well as dehydrated food packs,” said Masicorp managing director Milli Firth.

Ms Firth said books had also been included in the food packs.

Kerry Mauchline, spokesperson for Education MEC Debbie Schafer, said an emergency school-feedingprogramme started in the province on Wednesday April 8 for schools that are part of the national nutrition
programme. Province was getting emergency funding to run the programme for the next two
weeks and was using a database of vulnerable pupils to get the food to where it was most needed.

Ms Mauchline said the department had contacted school
principals to advise them to prepare to reintroduce the national feeding scheme during lockdown.

Ukhanyo Primary School has a head start thanks to Ms Ndlovu’s initiative.

According to the education department, children will have to take their own food containers and queue at least 1.5m. No
more than 50 children will be served at a time; they will be
given hand sanitiser and soap; and they will have to take their food home with them as they
will not be allowed to eat it at school.

Ms Ndlovus said there was a great need in Masiphumelele and any donations were welcome.

To make a donation, visit the Precious Lives Matter website at
www.thechampions7.webnode.com or email lifemoyop@gmail.com or should you wish to sponsor a food parcel at R250 visit www.masicorp.org/covid-19-