I found this video on Alex Matthews' Afrodissident blog.
Its well worth watching as a reminder of what happens when a government is headed by a madman with no regard for the people he is supposed to serve. What a contrast with Obama's speech this morning with its emphasis on working together for a new future and a government that is for, by and with the people.
And it is not just in Zimbabwe that children are starving. In Cape Town, the Peninsula School Feeding Association (PSFA) has the dubious honour of celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. I say dubious, because the fact that it exists at all is a sad indictment on our society. As a country we are still failing the most needy among us.
The PSFA feeds 160 000 children daily. That's a lot of children who are relying on the single meal they get at school to stay alive. That's a lot of children trying to learn on an empty stomach.
And the economic crisis isn't helping. The facts speak for themselves. In the space of just two months the price of rice has risen by over 100%; bread has crept above R10 a loaf, maize has seen an increase of 12% and legumes a hefty 25%. - all increases which directly affect the PFSA menu of soy, rice, bread, samp, beans and peanut butter and jam.
The rising costs of fuel put even more pressure on the organisation. "We are in negotiations with the delivery companies to freeze their prices too,” PSFA director Andy du Plessis said when I spoke to him recently. “But price freezing can only do so much. Next financial year we'll be facing increases of at least 10 – 15%.”
Currently the PFSA can provide a meal for R1.20 per child a day. Says Du Plessis: “It is the poorest of the poor who suffer the most. For many children the food we provide is their only meal of the day. Feeding fewer children is just not an option”.
One thing about the PSFA is that it offers us the opportunity to do far more than just wring our hands in horror.
You can adopt a child for just R235 (about $25) a year. That's the full cost of feeding a child for 198 school days.
Du Plessis was quick to point out to me that “100% of the money you donate goes to feeding the children. Our administration costs are paid from our investment reserve.”
If you want to help, go to the PSFA website here
I think its the least we can do.