Nutritious meals at core of program to assist recovery of poverty-stricken districts
LOS ANGELES, Oct. 20, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Needy children in a township of Cape Town, South Africa, that is still reeling from years of neglect under apartheid will be served nutritious meals for a year thanks to a donation from The Prem Rawat Foundation (TPRF).
TPRF is contributing US$10,000 to the Food Security Program of Afrika Tikkun (AT) to support longstanding efforts to feed children in Cape Town's Mfuleni Township, an informal resettlement area of about 45,000 residents still plagued by widespread poverty, hunger, unemployment, poor education and an HIV/AIDS pandemic.
"The AT approach helps families move out of extreme poverty," says TPRF President Linda Pascotto. "TPRF applauds Afrika Tikkun's overall thrust to help the areas in which it works evolve into self-sustaining communities by addressing root causes on a long-term basis."
AT will use TPRF funds to bring daily nutritious meals to children selected from homes assessed to have the greatest need, part of an overall dynamic that uses personalized assistance plans tailored to meet the needs of individual family units.
Romy Saitowitz, development executive for the AT, says these plans include training to maintain backyard gardens, helping family members access government social welfare grants, enrolling children in schools, caring for ill parents through AT's Primary Healthcare Program and enrolling unemployed family members into her organization's skills-development programs.
"Despite the unacceptably high levels of food insecurity in South Africa, local community feeding initiatives struggle to attract donor support," Saitowitz says, citing a preconception that feeding programs foster dependency, which she says is not true of AT's efforts.
The grant from TPRF, she says, will provide for one year the only daily meal many of the children chosen for the program will get.
"The food they receive not only alleviates their hunger," Saitowitz says, "but provides children with the critical nutrients needed to maximize their health and well-being. These children attend our center after school and have not had enough to eat during the day. Afrika Tikkun provides them with a simple meal before they commence their afterschool activities, which enables them to fully benefit from these development initiatives."
Established in 1994, AT operates in six township communities in South Africa. Its objective is to empower and transform historically disadvantaged South African communities by focusing on vulnerable children from birth to 19 years, delivering to them and their families services in nutrition, health and social development.
About The Prem Rawat Foundation (TPRF)
The Prem Rawat Foundation promotes Prem Rawat's message of peace and his vision of addressing fundamental human needs so that people everywhere can live with dignity, peace, and prosperity. For more information, visit: www.tprf.org.
SOURCE The Prem Rawat Foundation