I arrived to glorious sunshine on Sunday, after a bit of a long 14 hr flight from JFK. Mariana De Beers from Stop Hunger Now, along with Barry Mey, CEO and Fiona, Barry’s wife met me at Tambo Airport and we immediately had cappucino ! ok, I can so do this. Mariana (Stop Hunger Now) indulged me with a stop at Germiston Lake on the way to the Stop Hunger Now HQ ( A warehouse in Germiston Gauteng). Once we arrived, I was immediately struck by how organized, spacious and well run things looked, YES ~ this is an organization that knows how to FEED children, as evidenced by the several many TON trucks inside. I saw my ‘office’ in the Volunteer Room and my ‘car’.. the Koombi (a VW 10 seater minibus) that looks like it has seen MANY meals delivered to the children in the 115 creches (early childhood development centers (ECD’s) in the J’burg area that are served by Stop Hunger Now and their 7913 Volunteers, soon to be 7914 (+ me) ! For a person whose largest car has been a Toyota, well this didn’t look so mini to me, but hey ~ its transport/wheels, with manual steering that will do a lot for my ‘guns’ by the end of my 6 months here!
Now, I learned a new acronym right away ~ TIA ….This Is Africa… ok, and it is. The Koombi has not only seen many meals delivered to smiling children, but its anti-hijacking device has a mind of its own. Along with driving on the ‘other’ side of the road for the 1st time ever while triaging the alarm, and flooring it to get out of the way of the other drivers….you get the picture. But all is good because This Is Africa, where the people are the nicest I have ever met in my life and that’s saying a lot.
But the work the J’burg SHN team does ~ STAGGERING !! I sat in the Monday AM staff mtg, got an Action Item or 3 and was asked my opinion already on several VIP items. The SHN Southern Africa Team (will share more in next blog on the Team here) is preparing for Mandela Day (Madeba’s birthday) next Friday, 18th July. They have organized an event of STAGGERING proportions.. at the Sandton Convention Center, over 5 shifts, 5000 volunteers will package 500,000 (as in half a million meals) on this day ! Wow…..I am really impressed and will share more on my next blog, but lets leave it like this ~~ SHN has STOPPED HUNGER NOW in the lives of 5500 children every MONTH in the Jburg Gauteng area…so for all those who have told me during my working career ~ ‘Lisa, you cant solve world hunger’.. I say ~~ read, learn and support Stop Hunger Now, because.. YES WE CAN ! and we need all the WE’s we can get. More in next blog, stay tuned !