Community and Charity

Rawson Paulshof puts in many man hours at the Stop Hunger Now campaign in Johannesburg

“There can be very few more worthwhile charities for the Rawson Paulshof team to support than this one and that is why we decided to give it all the help we could.”

This was said on 19th July by an exhausted Kerry Mawson, franchisee for the Rawson Property Group’s Paulshof franchise. She had been working from 4 a.m. until 7.30 p.m. for the Stop Hunger Now Mandela Day 67 minutes charity effort which took place at the Sandton Convention Centre on 18th July. A similar event was also organized in Cape Town at the Canal Walk shopping centre.

It is impressive to be able to record that Johannesburg and Sandton corporates and businesses managed to get no less than 4,220 volunteers to help at the Mandela Day event. Kerry was joined by five members of her staff and later in the afternoon by some of their children. They were also joined by David Jacobs, Lana de Villiers, Blessings Kusvabadika, Charlotte Ncube, Renee Cowling and Kelly Schutte from the Rawson Property Group’s Johannesburg regional office.

Just what is the Stop Hunger Now Campaign and why did Kerry feel that it was so very worthwhile supporting it?

Stop Hunger Now was established in the USA by Dr Ray Buchanan in 1998. Buchanan’s aim was able to eradicate hunger within one lifetime, i.e. within 30 to 50 years. Although strongly motivated by his Christian faith, Buchanan was able to enlist the help of leaders of other faiths and many hundreds of businesses and to spread his organization internationally.

As indicated, the primary aim of Stop Hunger Now is to eradicate severe malnutrition in Africa. The main target for their feeding programmes are small children, especially those in crèches, nursery schools and preschools and those in the first three years of life.

A study has shown that inadequate nutrition in the first 1,000 days of a child’s life results in stunted mental and physical growth, which in most cases is totally irreversible. It has been shown that, again drawing on reputable research organisations, since the 1960s the world has, in fact, produced more food than the consumers need and hunger is, therefore, inexcusable.

A Johannesburg branch of Stop Hunger Now was founded in 2009, with offices also in Cape Town, and both have proved very competent. They have enlisted many of South Africa’s biggest corporations, including banks and investment houses, as sponsors and they have run a very efficient educational campaign, pointing out the severe dangers of malnutrition. Their aim is to buy food at discount prices from reputable wholesalers and then rely on volunteers to package these into parcels suitable to feed six adults or 10 children, which at the moment costs R16,50 each. They contain a range of basic foods such as rice, soya and mixed veg as well essential vitamins and mineral packs which normally would never be part of the diet of a disadvantaged African child.

The Stop Hunger Now SA’s Mandela Day packaging events put together 856,000 meals in one day, which will feed 5,945 children, three times a week for a year.

Those who are stimulated and excited by what Stop Hunger Now is achieving and would like to enlist for future packaging events should google Stop Hunger Now SA for further details. On average, events take place every second Saturday and due to the efficiency of the Stop Hunger Now SA organization they have to date been very successful.