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Hunger in South AfricaSouth Africa is the southernmost country on the continent of Africa. The country has 11 official languages and more than 56 million people with ethnic and religious diversity. The country has struggled with several issues such as food insecurity, poverty and a poor healthcare system. Here are five facts to know about hunger in South Africa.

5 Facts About Hunger in South Africa

  1. More than 6 million people in South Africa experienced hunger in 2017. In the northern region of the country called Limpopo, 93% of households had stable access to food in 2017. On the other hand, only 66.5% of households in Northern Cape had adequate access to food. The number of people who experience hunger has decreased in the last decade because of efforts made by the government. However, this data still shows the severe situation of food insecurity in South Africa.
  2. Of these 6 million people, approximately 2.5 million were children. In 2017, the majority of young children who lived in an urban area experienced hunger. Moreover, Black children are more vulnerable to hunger and poverty compared to other racial groups. Along with hunger, these kids experience severe poverty and are unable to access education and healthcare.
  3. Food insecurity has a direct association with men’s violence against their partners. A study conducted in South Africa shows that men experiencing food insecurity are more likely to be violent toward their intimate partners. Hunger and financial hardship affect people’s mental health and behaviors and, subsequently, the quality of their relationships.
  4. Recurring drought affected about 37.44 % of rural regions in South Africa. Repeating drought and flooding have damaged the ability to produce food in South Africa. These climate conditions make it difficult for poor households to produce their own food to feed themselves when they do not have enough income to buy food.
  5. The effect of COVID-19 on hunger in South Africa: The country had more than 300,000 people test positive for COVID-19 by July 18, 2020. The national lockdown and decreasing income negatively affect people’s ability to purchase food. Besides, people have little to no access to food because of the lack of an effective system for food distribution during the lockdown. Despite the government’s support for unemployed and children, more people than before are in need of support to access food.

Actions Taken by Multiple Nonprofit Organizations

Several nonprofits are taking action to address the challenges of hunger in South Africa. Food Forward SA collects surplus food from farmers and distributes them to the people in need in six regions of South Africa. Since rural areas and children are more vulnerable to food insecurity, the organization carries out the programs to provide food. Moreover, the organization has launched a Youth Internship Program. In this program, young South Africans can gain practical experience and learn about logistics and food safety.

In addition, the EACH 1 FEED 1 project by the Nelson Mandela Foundation distributes grocery items purchased by donors and financial donations to communities in need. Also, the South African Food Sovereignty Campaign tackles the systematic issues of food insecurity in the country and provides a place for other food distributing organizations to increase effectiveness and communicate with each other.

 

Although multiple nonprofit organizations and the government are working to deal with hunger in South Africa, the country still has a severe situation that requires urgent help.

– Sayaka Ojima
Photo: Flickr

10 Facts About Nelson MandelaPeople widely regard Nelson Mandela as one of the most influential civil rights figures of all time. His work advocating for social justice, becoming the first black president of South Africa and contributing his philosophy to the world, made Mandela one of the most prominent figures of the 20th century. Here are 10 facts about Nelson Mandela including his life, career and the impact that he continues to have upon millions.

10 Facts About Nelson Mandela

  1. Mandela’s realization came during his traditional African circumcision ritual. During a circumcision ritual to prepare him for manhood, a 16-year-old Nelson Mandela heard his chief describe the “enslavement” the young men faced in South Africa. His chief cited that white men were a major part of the issue of South Africa’s lack of independence. The chief implanted this wisdom in Mandela, which would later lead to his strides to end apartheid in his home country.
  2. Nelson was not Mandela’s true name. Mandela was born as Rolihlahla on July 18, 1918. During his time in primary school, his instructor (Mrs. Mdingane) gave him the name Nelson to follow the custom that students in schools should receive Christian names.
  3. Nelson gave his Inaugural Address of Unity in May 1994. In his Cape Town inaugural address, Mandela spoke heavily of the work that the people of South Africa needed to do in order to defeat racism and apartheid in the country. In his speech, Mandela stated, “We speak as fellow citizens to heal the wounds of the past with the intent of constructing a new order based on justice for all.” This idea of citizens uniting to make their country a better place formed the basis of his drive for social change.
  4. Mandela studied law. While people widely know Nelson Mandela as a highly influential South African president and civil rights figure, his studies in school reflected a different life path. While in college, Mandela studied law. He then later became one of South Africa’s very first black lawyers.
  5. The Nelson Mandela Foundation launched in 1999 and was his project after leaving office and up to 2004. The organization has many goals, but mainly functions as a public service organization. The organization works to combat the HIV/AIDS virus and promote peaceful negotiations amongst individuals. Additionally, the foundation also improves research in underdeveloped schools and takes on many other important tasks.
  6. Mandela fled from marriage. When Nelson Mandela left the University College of Fort Hare, his village king wavered an arranged marriage. The king wanted Mandela to marry his cousin named Justice. The two decided to flee to Johannesburg in order to avoid the whole ordeal.
  7. Sports inspired Mandela. Nelson Mandela was not only a huge sports fan but someone who used the idea of athletics in order to fuel his campaign for social justice. Mandela stated that sport “has the power to change the world…it has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope where once there was only despair. It is more powerful than government in breaking down racial barriers.”
  8. A movie has showcased Mandela’s pacifism. In Spike Lee’s 1992 film, “Malcolm X,” Mandela plays a school teacher, who toward the end of the film, reads aloud the title character’s main speech. Further, Mandela practiced pacifism his entire life. Therefore, when he reached the part of Malcolm X’s speech that states “by any means necessary,” he refused to read that part of it.
  9. The Black Pimpernel. During the struggle against apartheid, Mandela found various ways to disguise himself against South African authorities. One of his many disguises was as a black chauffeur. After the press caught him, the media began to dub Mandela as The Black Pimpernel.
  10. Mandela turned a prison into school. After Nelson Mandela’s incarceration at Robben Island, a joke emerged referring to the prison as the University of Robben Island. This occurred because Mandela fostered his fellow inmates as they learned history and how to read, write and debate political topics. They even received diplomas, which the Mandela signed for each of the inmates.

Nelson Mandela’s contributions to society are the efforts of a civil rights leader in South Africa. His work also serves as a reminder of his dedication to social change; so much so that he sacrificed his own life to strive for it. Accolades aside, people should not only associate Nelson Mandela with what others print and what he or others wrote but also his lasting impact on the rest of the world.

Jacob Nangle
Photo: Flickr

Nelson_Mandela
Uber has been making waves in the transportation wave recently, bringing quick access to rides in cities across the globe. There is a new app that is being deemed the Uber for charity called 67 Minutes.

67 Minutes was released on what is Mandela Day in South Africa – July 18, the great leader’s birthday. The app “is dedicated to helping people do at least 67 minutes of charitable work per year.”

The United Nations (UN) made July 18 Mandela Day officially in November of 2009 after Mandela declared, “It is time for new hands to lift the burdens. It is in your hands now,” in a speech on his birthday in 2008. The UN stated that the day was to be commemorated to acknowledge his dedication to service and his values, as well as his contribution to the struggle toward democracy and a culture of peace around the world.

According to the Nelson Mandela Foundation, the day is a celebration aimed “to serve as a global call to action for people to ‘recognize their individual power to make an imprint and help change the world around them for the better.’” The day’s overall purpose is to cement and remember Mandela’s legacy in continued action towards his ideals, instead of statues and museums.

The idea of 67 Minutes is based on the 67 years Mandela spent striving to improve the human rights of all South Africans. Each minute spent volunteering is meant to remember each year Mandela spent striving towards his goal of equal human rights for all. The app’s goal is to connect those that want to do good with charities and other organizations that can help them do just that.

Ninety-one charities and other organizations have registered with the app, including Amnesty International SA, CHOC, Nkosi’s Haven and Blind SA, to name a few.

Charles Burman of MD Digital Publications, the company that developed and published 67 Minutes, explained it this way: “67Minutes has been developed in such a way, that should you have a type of event in mind, a specific budget, or if you’re simply searching for ideas of how you can help based on your location, you can quickly and easily discover them.”

The app is free to download and it is also free for NGOs and charities to advertise themselves on. There is no regulation on what kind of project that charities can post, although it is the preference of Burman that projects be based around people giving their time, services or goods as opposed to monetary contributions.

To participate, simply download the app and start looking for something to do, just as you would download Uber and look for a ride. Individuals can surf the projects on the app by category or location before choosing one by hitting ‘participate.’ All that is needed is the number and information of the people participating.

Time will tell if 67 Minutes is an effective way for charities to help spread Nelson Mandela’s ideals across the globe. As of now, most of the efforts are concentrated in South Africa. With the spread of the app around the world, it could be a true force for good.

Gregory Baker

Sources: South Africa, Media Update
Photo: Flickr