There is an interesting refrain that the JAM team often repeats. “No single organization can break the cycle of poverty, working together is the key to success.”
Having worked in the poorest and most vulnerable communities, the JAM team have learnt, over time, that partnerships with other NGO’s is critical to providing for the wide array of needs. The joint commitment and assistance provided to these communities is what is makes the programs in these communities sustainable.
This couldn’t be better illustrated than through Rina Ndumba’s journey.
In 2016, Rina identified the need for an Early Childhood Development Center (ECD) because of the many of the children in her area who were not in a safe environment and were without educational support. Rina lives in an area called Platfontein, in Kimberley.
Armed with her Social Science Degree, and a dream of making life better for children, Rina opened her doors, welcoming children from both the ‘Kwhe’ and ‘Xum’ San tribe families in the area.
In 2017, the JAM School Feeding Program was implemented at Rina’s school, providing children with a delicious and nutritious breakfast of JAM ‘s Corn, Soya Blend (CSB porridge). The porridge is a nutritionally balanced meal specifically designed to support children’s development as they grow.
The promise of a nutritional meal provided at Rina’s ECD center resulted in a sharp increase in children attending her school. In recent times, however, Rina has noticed that families from Xum tribe are no longer bringing their children to her ECD because of tribal differences with the Kwhe tribe.
“I believe these tribal disputes are harmful to our community.” Says Rina “and I hope that, by working with JAM, we can provide a safe place for all children to attend school and enjoy time with each other. When children make friends, they don’t care which tribe their friend is from, they just want to play and enjoy each other’s company. This is the first step in bridging the gap between these two rival tribes as childhood friendships often last into adulthood.” She says.
Rina’s vision for her ECD has resulted in her not only working with JAM to improve the center but also applying for lotto funding, which she was awarded. Rina is also working with the Christian Revival Church who has assisted her with a JoJo tank enabling her to conserve water.
In addition, Rina has saved over R5000 of her own money, which she has ploughed back into her ECD, purchasing extra food and additional equipment for the children.
Rina’s Early Childhood Development Center is the perfect example of how working together can change communities for the better.
Thank you to every sponsor and all of the programs who work with JAM to break the cycle of poverty.
If you’d like to contribute towards building better communities and educational centers for young children, visit the website and donate towards JAM SA’s ECD feeding here.