It is heartbreaking to think that 3.1 million children die every year from malnutrition, and, in fact, undernourishment contributes to more than 50% of deaths in children, under the age of 5, worldwide. That is a loss of 8 500 lives, every day!
World Hunger has also identified that 28% of children in developing countries also suffer from stunted growth as a result of hunger – with the current global pandemic, which has exasperated food security for so many households - drastically fueling these numbers.
World Children’s Day, celebrated globally on 20 November, is a means by which we can all promote awareness of children’s needs worldwide and remind ourselves about ways in which to improve their welfare and to come together to offer a helping hand.
Every child has the right to adequate health, safety and education, however, across the developing world there are still more than 66 million primary school children who attend classes on an empty stomach, and of these, 23 million is based in Africa. We know that without sufficient nutritious meals, children can face an array of setbacks, such as not being able to concentrate in school, demonstrating behavioral issues, to ongoing issues with their mental health or experiencing a higher risk to health conditions. And more importantly, this means that not every child gets to enjoy their childhood.
Hunger has always been an ongoing global pandemic, given it is closely connected with poverty, however, if we want to build a sustainable future for everyone, there needs to be deliberate action taken. KFC Add Hope is one such initiative that we as a brand have embraced as a fundamental pillar towards the fight against hunger.
KFC Add Hope not only provides both health and educational support to vulnerable children in many communities across South Africa, but also aims to provide far more food security in households, as well. To date this year, Add Hope was able to deliver food supplies to 141 beneficiaries nationwide, with over 150 000 children reached, and 5.5 million nutritious meals served to those in need. Through the R2 donations given by our customer base, which is then added to donations by KFC – R92 million was raised towards this feeding fund in 2019.
We have all heard the saying that ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ and this World Children’s Day let us come together in solidarity to create a stronger KFC village. In fact, didn’t our own great statesman, Nelson Mandela say, “The true character of a society is revealed in how it treats its children.”