Grant Announcement: Singita Development Trust
Empowers Africa is pleased to announce a USD 5,000 grant to the Singita Community Development Trust for the Child Supplementary Feeding Program supported by Singita Pamushana in Zimbabwe.
Singita partners with the Malilangwe Trust, a nonprofit conducting philanthropic outreach in the communities surrounding the Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve in Zimbabwe. The feeding program—developed in response to the 2002 drought that caused large-scale malnutrition and illness amongst children—provides a daily meal of nutrient-fortified corn-soya porridge to approximately 19,000 children (2 – 12 year olds) in surrounding villages. As evidenced by the records of each participant’s height and weight over time, this program has significantly improved the children’s nutritional well-being. Furthermore, school attendance is higher than ever as children at local primary schools are part of the programme.
A stringent feeding schedule would disrupt the daily lives of the many women farming nearby. Therefore, the program’s strategy operates effectively through a community-driven schedule with specific feeding points, thereby ensuring consistent and convenient feeding times for each village. Every packet of porridge includes not only detailed nutritional information and an ingredient list but also straightforward cooking instructions.
The Singita Feeding Program distributes over 30 metric tons of porridge annually and prioritizes quality control. A government lab examines samples from each batch of porridge. Once approved, the package is stamped with a certificate to ensure the food has not been contaminated. The Trust then distributes the corn-soya blend to 426 feeding points, manned by the volunteers. The positive relationship Singita maintains with relevant ministries allows this logistical process to run smoothly. Newly implemented drying racks located at each feeding point prevent contamination from local chickens and dogs, thereby guaranteeing sanitary distribution! Furthermore, women can wash their hands before feeding the children due to easily accessible water sources. An additional positive development includes the implementation of heat-conserving stoves. The strategically designed product features a slight gap upon which a pan is placed to retain extra heat, and most importantly, minimize the use of wood. Women can also bake bread on the surface of the stove. Furthermore, the chimney on the edge of the stove prevents overheating, which protects the users from potential burns from cooking.
Empowers Africa’s grant of USD 5,000 will help feed over 300 students on a daily basis for one year.