Our Mission to Feed the children of Ottawa Primary School during the Corona Virus Pandemic
Thanks to all of you for your donations following the Foundation’s first food parcel drop to the most vulnerable families of Ottawa school, Mike and the team were delighted to be able to carry out a second run on Friday 15th May handing out almost 300 food parcels. That is almost double the amount achieved on the first run. Each food parcel contains 13.5kg of food, enough to sustain a family of four for several days.
Watch the video sliders below to relive our journey from our recent food drop
Second Delivery of Food Parcels – 15th May 2020
Following the success of our first food delivery, the team have surpassed expectation by delivering a staggering near 300 food parcels in a second food drop to the families of the children of Ottawa Primary School. The Foundation currently provides free cricket coaching and other sports activities at the school, using sport as a vehicle to improve the children’s self-esteem and offer an escape from the realities of their daily lives. As Nelson Mandela famously said, “Sport has the power to change the world”.
With many of the children being HIV positive and in some cases orphans they face a daily struggle against hunger and crime. The cricket and sports activities are run by three coaches, two of whom Sakhile and Thobelani were both former students at the Ottawa school. Unfortunately, as a direct impact of the strict self-isolation rules put in place by the South African government to manage the spread of the Covid-19 virus, they are now unable to work due to the closure of all Schools. We have taken the decision to continue to pay the coaches’ salary for as long as we can and at least up until the end of May when we will review the situation as well as the funds available via our donors – thank you again to all those who continue to donate in order to make this possible.
Many vulnerable families whose children attend Ottawa school are used to receiving a daily meal provided by the school free of charge, without this the reality is that most children will go hungry. We are acutely aware of the difficulties faced during the closure of the school due to the virus, which is what prompted our initial intervention in mid April.
At a time where we are witnessing a global pandemic the Foundation are pulling together with local partners in order to ensure this distribution can be carried out effectively and safely. We are indebted to Devin Heffer and his team at Hollywoodbets for their invaluable support; to Eastman Spar for procuring the food and providing the bags and for their logistical support; to the South African Police Service (Durban North) for their support in ensuring security on the day; and of course to the School authorities and Principal Ms Msane and her staff for organising and overseeing the distribution rota to the families.
Above and below are photos and videos of our journey from both food drops. It was incredible to see the teams’ spirits sustained throughout the day, despite a 6am start! Well done to all involved.
As noted above, each food parcel contains 13.5kg of food, enough to sustain a family of four for several days. The cost of each parcel is around R250 (just over £10).
First Food Drop – 17th April 2020
Our first food drop took place on Friday 17th April where we started the day at 7am, with our first stop at Spar to collect the food parcels and transport them to the school.
School Principal Ms Msane had her team ready to organise messages to those children identified as most in need and by 9.30am people started to arrive to collect their food parcels with the Police on hand to ensure everything was done in an orderly manner.
Distribution of 150 parcels was completed by 12.30pm with everyone considering the day a fantastic success.
Mike Procter speaking on the recent food supplies presented to Ottawa’s school kids
We would like to highlight the exceptional efforts of Devin Heffer and his team at Hollywoodbets; without their donation, coordination and mammoth effort we would not have been able to turn this mission around in the amazingly short time that we have achieved. We would also like to thank Garth Slater and his team at Eastman’s Spar for their valuable contributions and to Ms Msane and her team at Ottawa School for their exceptional organisation and dedication. We would also like to offer our special thanks to Brigadier DB Ndlovu of the South African Police Service for their assistance and protection. It is incredible what can be achieved when people pull together, focus their efforts and are determined to achieve their goal.
We are delighted to have partnered with Hollywoodbets in this venture and look forward to more collaboration with them in the future in achieving our objectives and helping them with their extensive list of Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives and investment. These revolve around helping develop talent and providing opportunities for young people, which aligns perfectly with our own ethos in this regard.
Hollywoodbets have also collaborated with the popular Phaka rugby show by sponsoring development rugby teams around South Africa. In 2019 Odwa and Akona Ndungane joined the Hollywoodbets team as Brand Ambassadors and have started working on various community projects.
Additionally, each Hollywoodbets branch also supports one charitable organisation per year as part of the company’s annual ”My Community Programme” (Corporate Social Investment). The company already has a reputation for being actively involved in developing South African sport from a grassroots level and is investing in excess of R1,8 million into tertiary education through initiatives where its Team and their family members are able to apply for bursaries; as well as collaborating with Gagasi FM and Nomzamo Mbatha’s Lighthouse Foundation.