BY Garikai Mafirakureva
THE Southern Lodestar Foundation has partnered Tongaat Hulett Zimbabwe and donated 60 tonnes of high-energy instant porridge to vulnerable children in Zimbabwe, Mozambique and eSwatini (formerly Swaziland), since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a statement yesterday, Tongaat Hulett spokesperson Adelaide Chikunguru said the surgar-milling company made use of its resources and the existing network of partners to reach out to the needy during the COVID-19 crisis.
“At the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, Tongaat Hulett partnered with the KwaZulu-Natal-based Southern Lodestar Foundation to donate high-energy instant porridge to communities associated with Tongaat Hulett in many of the countries in which it operates.
“Research shows that children with improved nutrition, are more able to develop mentally and physically, which boosts their ability to learn and absorb new information, so through the partnership with the Southern Lodestar Foundation, we will be able to make 400 000 meals available to children and individuals that have experienced undue hardship because of the pandemic.
“By supporting these communities and individuals, Tongaat Hulett is not only addressing the challenge of food insecurity and malnutrition, but also helping to ensure the sustainability of local institutions amid such a crisis. The instant porridge will be distributed to thirty-nine primary schools and four hospitals in Chiredzi,” Chikunguru said.
Southern Lodestar Foundation representative Andre Redinger said their partnership started in April after realising the need to intervene and save lives.
“Our commitment to Tongaat Hulett is to extend beyond this period to ensure we deliver a sustainable breakfast programme in the countries we are operating in. We have benefited from Tongaat’s significant support from logistics; to human resources to reach those who need nutritional intervention as a matter of life and death.
“To many of the children in Africa, we pledge nourishment, education, and love so that we can uplift, inspire and be of service,” he said.
Tongaat Hulett Sugar South Africa spokesperson Nkonzo Mhlongo said the porridge would go a long way in supporting individuals and families in dire straits.
“The donation has enabled both parties to share their specific competencies and capabilities to help achieve a common goal of improved nutrition in the three countries,” she said.