Helping youth in struggle against hunger

Residents creating CVs, applying for jobs, and studying at the Macedonian Revival Community Development Programme container in Longkloof Circle Heideveld last week.

The Mustadafin Foundation, a non-profit organisation based in Belgravia, has launched a three-month food drive in rural areas and schools around the province to commemorate Youth Month.

High unemployment has underscored the need for feeding schemes, says the foundation’s director, Ghairunisa Johnstone-Cassiem.

The foundation is asking for donations of non-perishable foods, as well as blankets and warm clothing, for the needy during winter.

In 1976, the youth had fought against apartheid; these days, many young people faced a different sort of struggle – the struggle against hunger, said Ms Johnstone-Cassiem, adding that malnutrition retarded a child’s development, school performance, and future.

“This is a struggle that approximately 600 000 children experience every day. For us, hunger is one of the biggest and most challenging social issues that we deal with on a daily basis.

“Hunger makes it more challenging for children to focus on school work and can influence the drop-out rate in many communities. It is unacceptable and disheartening when a parent must choose which child may eat today because there simply is not enough food to feed each child.”

Hunger needed to be treated as an urgent social issue that affected the future of the entire country, she said.

“In 1976, youth played a courageous role to influence the future of South Africa. The youth of today are our future leaders and influencers of our country. However, they struggle to reach their full potential when they have to worry about where their next meal comes from.”

To donate, call 021 633 0010 or WhatsApp 079 567 3645.

Meanwhile, in Heideveld, the Macedonian Revival Community Development Programme, a non-profit organisation, launched a project this month to help young people.

Held weekly, at 10am, from Wednesday to Friday, in a container at 12 Longkloof Circle, it helps young people to apply to study further, compile CVs and apply for jobs. It also runs feeding schemes and cadet programmes and teaches study methods to school pupils. It will run for the months of June and August only.

Heideveld pastor and founder of the programme Isaac de Jongh said young people needed a better education to become more employable.

“They use their last money to take taxis and fetch jobseeker forms while that R20 could be utilised to buy electricity or go towards a pot of food. Unemployment rises on a daily basis and people aren’t even able to live on the breadline margin.”

To find out more, call Pastor De Jongh on 067 131 9343.