The children from the Land of Oz Nursery School may have only been splashing around, but their efforts have provided 10 500 meals to disadvantaged children.
The school, which has one campus in Chartwell and a second in Fourways, hosted an annual Swimathon to raise funds for the Mission Possible outreach work. Teachers and parents give their time to the outreach programme, which provides support to a number of early childhood development centres in Diepsloot informal settlement. Thanks to all the fundraising events held last year, volunteers managed to pack thousands of meals for the needy this year on 23 and 24 July.
“Today we’re using the money raised during our Swimathon and other fundraising efforts in 2017 to pack meals here at the Chartwell Land of Oz school,” said Nabila Wissanji who is in charge of outreach for that campus. “Last year we managed to raise about R60 000 altogether.
“A number of volunteers will spend the whole day packing the meals, which will then be distributed to five schools in Diepsloot which we support.”
According to Wissanji, the school chose this initiative because, while there are so many worthy causes to get involved with, they decided to focus on food as a person’s ability to learn is severely impacted by hunger. “Children can’t learn on an empty stomach, so this work will make sure they get a big, full, wholesome meal at school each day, which these children might otherwise not have. It also means the moms [from Land of Oz] become aware of the situation of others, which really puts life into perspective.”
About nine moms from Chartwell school spent the morning of 24 July packing the meals, using a production line to get things done quickly.
Rise Against Hunger Africa’s Nadine Sandrock was present on the day to help the volunteers and said, “Today we’re packing about 10 500 meals, which is enough to feed 40 children one hot meal every weekday for a whole year.
“Each pack is a fully balanced meal which includes soup mix, rice, soya and a sachet of vitamins which is added to the food as well.”
The meals will be distributed in Diepsloot during the next two weeks. This year’s Land of Oz Swimathon, which took place in March and was covered by Fourways Review in the article Swimathon for a cause, Week ending 30 March, managed to raise about R90 000 for outreach work, which will be spent during a similar project next year.