In line with SA Harvest’s mission to end the injustice of hunger in South Africa via the integration of food charity and systemic solutions, our Lusikisiki branch in the Pondoland region of the Eastern Cape, is setting the example for this integration in practice.
Alan Browde, CEO SA Harvest, says that while developing a relevant theory for how things should work is interesting and exciting, seeing it come together in reality, experiencing the victory of implementation, is indescribable.
“That’s how we are all feeing about Lusikisiki. We designed the project to be the embodiment of what needs to happen in this country to reduce the massive reliance on food charity. I’m pleased to say that this process is well underway in Lusikisiki,” says Browde.
Lusikisiki branch manager, Vuyiswe Cele (27), is proud of the achievements of her team. “We are 10 people running the branch all from differing backgrounds and experiences. The desire to succeed in this very important project is hugely motivating and unites us in our important, common purpose,” she says.
Vuyi has an incredible story. She was orphaned at the age of eight and was left alone in the world wandering the streets of Durban. Many years later, while delivering food to a homeless shelter, SA Harvest ‘discovered’ this incredible young woman and took her on as a trainee. Today she is a branch manager! An inspiration indeed!
The modus operandi in Lusikisiki has been to employ 9 unemployed youth from the Lusikisiki area to run the branch and deliver rescued food to community-based organisations which feed hungry people on a daily basis. Integrated with this operation we: provide them with employment and income; provide them with the skills to run a logistics warehousing business; provide them with an accredited course in agri-business including courses in finance, marketing, HR and other basic business skills; provide skills training in small-scale farming and provide support structures when they leave SA Harvest to become independent operators whose businesses will be directed towards working with our beneficiaries in their quest for independence from charity.
The Lusikisiki branch is situated in an area devasted by hunger, a scenario for which the Eastern Cape is infamous. “We are setting the example of how to defeat hunger, restore dignity and save lives in the process. I am immensely proud of the team’s achievement, which will hopefully attract funds from interested parties to help grow this into the massive operation we are dreaming of,” concluded Browde.