We’re made for togetherness
Archbishop Emeritus, Desmond Tutu, Patron of The Unlimited Child once said, “We are made for goodness. We are made for love. We are made for friendliness. We are made for togetherness.”
During this unprecedented moment in South African history, our nation has been placed on a 21-day lock-down in efforts to reduce the spread of the Coronavirus. This urgent but necessary action by our country’s leaders has had a huge effect on its citizens, particularly those living in the poorer, more vulnerable communities. It’s a time where many non-profit organisations across the country have risen to the challenge – trying to assist as many families as possible.
Partnering to save lives
Candice Potgieter is the chief executive officer of The Unlimited Child, an independent, national, non-profit organisation focused on Early Childhood Development (ECD) initiatives, currently active in eight of South Africa’s nine provinces.
For Potgieter, the health and wellbeing of the many families in their network is paramount. “Nutrition is not one of our primary activities, but we’re aware that for many of the children at the 3050 crèches we support, the breakfast and lunch that they receive every day at pre-school (provided by our nutritional partners) is sometimes the only regular meals that they would receive. That meant that many of them would go hungry when these ECD centres had to be shut on the 18th of March 2020,” she said.
In collaboration with two of its nutritional partners – Rise Against Hunger and Zero2Five Trust – the organisation has managed to supply 20 000 families with food packs that’ll last a month, effectively keeping 71 000 people from going hungry during the lock-down.
“We reached out for help, saying that if (our partners) could provide the food, we would provide the distribution channel.”
The aid packages were distributed to the children’s parents and guardians between the 18th and 25th of March in Gauteng, the Free State, the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal. Cognisant of the need to practice social distancing, the teams arranged specific pick up times for individual family members to collect the food parcels from their child’s ECD centre, and no physical contact occurred between team members and community members.
“Without (our partners’) support we couldn’t do what we do. We are fortunate enough to be serving our communities in an incredibly supportive environment, where the majority of operational costs are covered by The Unlimited, a financial services company that has invested over R40 million into The Unlimited Child over the last decade.”
About The Unlimited Child Organisation
The Unlimited Child is an independent, non-profit organisation established in 2008. Initially working with five crèches in KwaZulu-Natal, today the organisation supports early learning in 3050 ECD Centres, with over 7000 ECD Practitioners, over 217,000 children and cumulatively over 500 000 children in eight provinces including: Gauteng, Free State, Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Northern Cape, Mpumalanga and Western Cape. Their goal is to reach 5000 ECD Centres by 2021. To find out how you can help the team to continue their ECD outreach initiatives, visit on Facebook or Twitter.