Five-year-old Onako is getting a good start in life. Thanks to a partnership between TPRF and Afrika Tikkun (AT), a nonprofit that has been helping needy South African families secure their long-term nutritional needs since 1994, he's guaranteed two healthy meals and two snacks every day. Soon, when he enters the local school system, he'll benefit from AT’s after-school interventions that will include homework supervision, life skills programs, and supervised sporting and recreational activities.
Until last January, Onako's future didn't look so bright. Abandoned by his mother when he was just four months old, he lives in a small shack with his father, two aunts, two younger cousins, and his grandmother, Nomvuyo Mgudlwa, in Cape Town's Mfuleni Township, a resettlement area characterized by poor infrastructure, high unemployment, high incidence of disease and extreme poverty. None of the adults had jobs.
When AT's social worker first visited the Mgudlwa family, she found Nomvuyo ailing and bedridden. Little Onako was underweight and in poor health due to chronic malnourishment.
AT's mission is to help families like the Mgudlwas break out of the spiral of poverty and malnutrition. Its Holistic Circle of Care Model integrates a variety of services and programs to help mitigate the impact of poverty and the breakdown of families on children like Onako, so that they can become healthy, productive, responsible adults.
In the Mgudlwas' case, the first step was to enroll Nomvuyo in AT's Primary Health Care program for home-based healthcare. The whole family began receiving monthly food parcels. In addition, Nomvuyo began receiving nutritionally balanced hot food from AT's kitchen every day. The ability to take her medication on a full stomach is helping her recovery.
AT's long-term goal is to empower the Mgudlwas to take charge of their own welfare. Volunteers are teaching them to cultivate a backyard garden with donated seeds and supplies so that they can grow their own vegetables. AT's social worker is helping Nomvuyo apply for a disability grant and child support grant, as well as a copy of Onako's birth certificate.
A TPRF grant supports 55 children and their families in AT's Food Security program in Mfuleni Township. "Your support has assisted us to make a strong impact in the lives of your benefactors and their families as a whole," said Onyi Nwaneri, AT's development director. "There is no doubt that their success is largely attributable to the undying passion and hard work of Afrika Tikkun coupled with your support."