State of Hope Address: Young South African speaks to government about the hunger crisis!

After a decade of commitment to addressing child hunger and poverty in South Africa, KFC has reinforced its commitment to the communities that it operates in and to help bring an end to the injustice that is childhood hunger.


KwaZulu Natal – In recognition of World Hunger Month in October, KFC Add Hope this year changed the narrative by giving the children of this country a voice and today hosting a “State of Hope Address” at the University of KwaZulu Natal.

This address was an important opportunity to remember and take meaningful action around the millions of children in South Africa who go without food daily.

The inaugural ‘State of Hope Address’ is earmarked as an important opportunity to give children – who are the future and promise of our country – a platform to call for action by corporate South Africa, government, media and the general public to address the issues around childhood hunger.

It is hosted alongside President Cyril Ramaphosa’s recently announced “Khawuleza” model, that is aimed at improving “the coherence and effect of government service delivery and development”.

“Millions of children regularly go hungry in South Africa, living below the food poverty line in households that cannot afford to provide the nutrition they need for their development. As a brand that is invested in the communities in which we operate, we want to continue to contribute to a South Africa where all children have access to the food they require to grow, learn and thrive. We are proud corporate citizens of South Africa and are committed to investing into the future of this nation through KFC Add Hope,” said Tarun Lal, General Manager, KFC Africa.

“I am appealing to all South Africans to join us we find sustainable solutions to address childhood hunger and continue adding hope to the vulnerable children who need care and support to survive the hardships of this life,” said the Minister of Social Development, Lindiwe Zulu. 

Xolani Poto, a young passionate South African, took to the stage to address the government, media, corporates and the general public about the hunger crisis in our country.

State of Hope Address: Young South African speaks to government about the hunger crisis!

Read the full transcript below:

“Good morning Minister of Social Development – Ms Lindiwe Zulu, MEC of Social Development KZN – Ms Nonhlanhla Khoza, MEC Education KZN – Mr Kwazi Mshengu, Mayor of the city of eThekwini – Mr Mxolisi Kaunda, our special guests – all the dignitaries and stakeholders here today.

I’m Xolani Poto. Some of you might look at me and see a child. Others might see the future. I don’t know who of you is right. But what I do know is that I’m here today to represent hope, so actually, you can call me Themba.

Today we celebrate World Food Day and recognise World Hunger Month. And sure, we have plenty to celebrate, but there are also lots of reasons why we shouldn’t be too quick to do that.

Hunger is still, if you’ll excuse the pun, a problem child all over the world. Including here at home. Over 3 million South African children go to school hungry every day.

5.6 million more are stunted because they don’t get enough healthy food, and they’ll never reach their full potential.

But children are expected to run the world one day. How’s that possible if we aren’t given a chance to be the best that we can be?

We just want to live in a world where children are less hungry. We don’t want to go to school or to a playground, not knowing where our next meal will come from.

All we need is for you to add hope!

And hope is when we don’t make solving the problem of hunger government’s job alone. It is when we make it the responsibility of all of us. Everyone has a role to play in protecting and looking after our country’s children.

When you add hope, you stand behind a child’s dream. When you give hope, you allow children to be children. You help them to be anything and do anything.

The world says it loves children. If that’s true, then show it through actions and not just words.

As children, we’re challenging the big companies that some of our parents work for, NGOs, stakeholders, schools and communities to work together with the government to add hope by putting a stop to child hunger. I thank you.”

Add Hope aims to provide as many children in South Africa with the food they need to grow, learn and thrive. Since its inception in 2009, Add Hope has raised more than R700 million in customer and KFC donations combined. Through these funds, KFC Add Hope provides more than 30 million meals a year, and each day, 150 000 in need children go to bed with full tummies thanks to Add Hope. Add Hope invites customers, organisations, and government to continue to play their part in eradicating poverty and feeding a child.

Customers are invited to add R2 to their order, to help contribute an initiative that could save South Africa in the long run.

State of Hope Address: Young South African speaks to government about the hunger crisis!

Sources: KFC | Add Hope | Xolani Poto 
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Brent Lindeque is the founder and editor in charge at Good Things Guy.

Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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