A JAR OF HOPE

If you have lived in Africa, it is easy to understand why small projects like "A Jar of Hope" are an important part of daily life that makes a huge difference.  If you are outside of Africa, you may not know that extreme poverty is real, starvation is a reality, jobs are hard to find and that it knows no skin color, age or gender.

If you have seen pictures of Cape Town with its famous Table Mountain, luxurious hotels and villas, or Johannesburg's wealthy suburbs like Sandton, Durban with its eye catching Umhlanga, it is hard to imagine that just a very short drive outside these big cities in South Africa are other stories, untold and too sad for tourism pictures. Stories of heartbreaking need, hunger and hushed deaths, where basic food items make the difference between alive or silent, and that every little bit can sway the odds.   


EVERY LITTLE BIT CAN HELP

A Jar of Hope is a meal placed in a clean empty coffee jar. It consists of a few dry ingredients, it is simple to prepare with only boiling water needed to make a warm, nourishing meal for 4 people.

Jar of hope - pastaA Jar Of Hope With Pasta
Jar of hope - riceA Jar Of Hope With Rice

It is widely assumed that these small projects and gestures of "Hope" undertaken by private individuals only started in 2020 during the coronavirus pandemic when starvation numbers increased and the local economy plummeted due to months of level 5 lock down rules. The fact is, the starvation numbers INCREASED and still is. It increases due to Government corruption and the looting of funds and resources that never reaches their rightful recipients. Starvation is a daily reality in South Africa and these little jars of hope, lovingly put together by individuals, groups of moms & dads, scouts and churches have been doing the rounds for many years prior to Covid or the beautiful legacy Madiba left to offer 67 minutes of a persons time yearly to uplift the underprivileged, which is sadly not enough.


Jars-of-hope-being-prepared

On the beautiful West Coast of South Africa in a small community of less than 125 000 where I use to live, jobs are rare, many of the indigenous locals are seasonal workers on farms which means income is restricted to harvest time. Others use to depend on fishing for a living, for many generations before the Government retracted their fishing licenses. Large manufacturing companies that were the heartbeat of these small towns were forced to close down as a result of a failing economy, constant electricity outages, high water tariffs and high fuel prices, with dire repercussions in this community, which is often forgotten. Furthermore, lack of border controls, state capture and corruption contributed to a job scarcity of one in three adults not having employment in South Africa. It is not unusual, to find old and young, living on grants, which barely pays enough to get them through the first week of the month, making them dependent on others for food and resources to stay alive. Many children survive on one meal per day, provided by the schools they attend. These meals are as basic as you get, sometimes only a sandwich with peanut butter, lack of funding once again.


Jar of hope - the childrenI truly believe, nourished, nurtured children rise above their circumstances.

There are ladies with big hearts in this community that cook meals over long weekends and during the school holidays. Holidays are supposed to be joyful, happy times right? These are the most trying and scary times for small children who solely depend on a meal from a school that is closed during these times. December and July holidays especially, they are long and never ending. Some days, up to 400 children line up for food in one small town. All made possible by the most incredible woman I have ever met, who do not have it easy themselves and receive no state funding to do so. Often times, having to give of their own or send requests for necessities needed, hoping someone will come to their aid and then having a hard time to collect the bits in time to have the next warm meal ready the following day. Doing this week in and week out takes a huge toll emotionally, sometimes the heartbreak of having to turn hungry little faces away can be too much to bare. Holding a child close to your heart that is begging for more food when pots ran empty. The news of a mommy who could no longer breast feed her little baby because she did not have sufficient food for herself to produce milk and kept her baby alive with sugar water, now too weak to move, seems very far removed if you yourself have never seen this. The best I can describe these earth angel woman as is, they are warrior woman, with compassion and love of the purest kind that truly change lives. This community is close-knit through it all and nothing needed is ever too much.

So you may think, there is a lot of hardship in the world and what does this have to do with me?


Jar of hope food for thought

Now, I am no Saint, I am more of a little badass who will find 100 people to help them give 400+ children and other people hope for another day. Today I am asking you. One jar costs approximately R25-30 (South African Rand) to fill, when bought in bulk, that is just under $2 which you all probably have lying around, just begging you to do some good in the world. A small brown bread costs R15 ($1). Filled jars are a blessing and time saver indeed, but if you are far away and would like to help, these ladies will happily fill a jar for you, I will cover the cost of the jar and make sure it ends up with those needing it most!

- The person who said: "Don't give a man a fish, teach a man to fish" -

or

- “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime” -

I agree somewhat but there are a few little problems with this. You cannot teach an adult or a child anything if they have no food in their tummies, the brain won't work. You can teach a man whatever you like, if he can't even feed himself, how will he afford the tools needed to apply what you have taught him - even as simple as fishing line and a hook, basics, not even a fancy fishing rod and fancy fishing tackle. For a man/woman to provide for themselves, they need to be nourished, taught, and in some way helped/provided for in terms of equipment, otherwise you waste your own and their time and they will fall right back into despair. Which brings me to my next point~

Jar of hope Kindness

HOW MUCH MORE EVERY LITTLE BIT HELPS

Help us fill "Jars Of Hope" please, sometimes all hope is lost and we need to restore the hope of there being a "tomorrow" first before we can attempt projects that will help people to become self-sufficient. As a side note, we here at Fun-stuff-to-do are working hard on plans to move forward with opportunities that will help to eradicate this suffering in small ways, one little bit at a time, which we hope will roll out throughout the country eventually! Two of these projects includes community vegetable gardens and income generating handmade projects for moms and the elderly. There are very creative people in Africa, and I am currently working on making first batch craft parcels available for free. These can be used in a number of ways to produce high in-demand products to create income for moms with children, all while they take care of their own little ones, instead of leaving them at the mercy of others, where abuse too often takes place. We are also finding creative, cost effective ways for them to sell these products and keep all of the profits, instead of the middleman taking the bulk, as frequently happens. This business model includes ideas, budget, creative products, selling outlets, market related pricing structures and ways to fund their own next batches of materials.  

Contact us, if you would like to send some empty or filled jars to restore hope, they need both desperately. We also support a number of schools and daycare centers with stationary, books, paint & varnish, printable and printed educational work, if you are a creator and would like to share or have any spare, all contributions are truly appreciated.

You can contribute financially to help us fill jars on your behalf with a click on the button below.


Button Jar of hope

Jar-of-hope
jar-of-hope-capetownThe Tourism Image
The RealityThe Reality

Around 18 million people in South Africa live in extreme poverty and the unemployment rate is a staggering 33.90%, you are lucky if you have a job. This includes all races, black, brown, colored and white, the help we extend is always unbiased. Yet people from further up in Africa still flock to this country in hope of a better future, or even worse, get caught up in empty promises from political parties who are losing credibility, but hope to gain these people's votes during elections with falsified identification, only for those people to face the harsh reality of no better tomorrow. This only increase the numbers of those suffering, not helping at all.


"alone we can do so little, together we can do so much more"

Jar of hope - How to make one

If you click on the link above, you will find instructions and more to make a jar of hope. I have also included free printable kitchen instructions, labels and tags in plain and pretty format to help you along. You can make these to help us or in the bigger scheme of things, make them to hand out in your own community to relieve hunger.

Thank you for taking the time to read this far and for not shying away.




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