Our vision is for South Africa and all her people to be empowered and thrive with the correct and balanced nutrition.
Our mission is to empower the nation by understanding the needs of South Africa’s most-disadvantaged communities and using the Operation Hunger model to eliminate barriers to attaining healthy diets and lives. We use a proactive approach to a pro-equity agenda that mainstreams nutrition into food systems and health systems with the long term goal of sustainability.
Established in 1980, Operation Hunger is a registered South African Non-Profit Organisation (NPO) that is remains operative and effective today. During 1994/95, Operation Hunger broadened its approach from relief work to include intensive focus on development work.
During 1999, Operation Hunger registered with the Department of Welfare in terms of the Non-profit Organisations Act No. 71 of 1997, and has become one of a growing number of NPOs that meet the criteria required to partner with government departments in the alleviation of poverty.
The organisation was started in 1978 by Dr. Selma Browde with Dr. Nthato Motlana after they saw the agony, anguish and toll that malnutrition inflicted on the South African people and its economy. Operation Hunger was accordingly strategically registered as a Fund-Raising Organisation in 1980 to better influence the transformation its founders sought. We therefore have a history of not only concern, but positive action in the fight against malnutrition in South African homes, schools and communities using sustainable and proven methods that empower people and their communities. We have since established an extensive network and infrastructure that provides our staff with unique access to vulnerable people and communities in some of the most remote areas in the country. We now work with local communities to initiate locus specific development programmes designed to create an environments conducive to the optimal development and growth.
Currently Operation Hunger focuses on the development of improved methods of working with and assisting communities to become self-sustaining, independent and to run profitable projects themselves.
- The projects initiated by Operation Hunger have a strong focus on the development of skills with which people and communities can take control their own livelihoods and as such are sturdily in line with current nationwide Enterprise Development initiatives. Empowerment, Education and Health.
- Case Studies have time and time again shown that medical and health conditions such as HIV/AIDS and TB have devastating consequences when coupled with poverty and malnutrition. Operation Hunger therefore took the decision to develop and provide a number of training and support programmes for communities specifically designed to address this concern based on the research findings.
- The communities in which Operation Hunger operates are generally situated in deeply rural areas or sprawling informal settlements with little or no basic services, very few resources and minimal health care systems. In these areas, we fight malnutrition with education and skills development by training stakeholders and initiating sustainable projects that address the root of the malnutrition problem, poverty.
The objectives of this strategic focus and programme development is to:
- Improve the Nutritional well-being of the poor.
- Promote the dissemination of knowledge about poverty and malnutrition in South Africa.
- Improve existing facilities to reduce malnutrition in South Africa.
- Promote the capacity of communities to reduce malnutrition in South Africa and to render financial assistance to develop similarly effective programmes.
- Foster a long-term partnership with communities, organisations and authorities to combat malnutrition.
Our approach to relief relies heavily on the effectiveness of the Assessment Phase and can vary based on the community, environment, findings of the assessment, resources, etc. We are very adaptive in our approach to relief, which has in the past included: soup kitchens, household distributions and more recently food parcels as a part of our Feed a Family campaign.
Our education programmes include: Skills training, basic hygiene training, basic nutrition education and wellness training (poverty coping strategies). We commence training immediately following the start of a project and continue with training and development throughout.
Sustainable development is the backbone of our mission. In order to sustain the health of our communities, we ensure that our projects support good environmental health. To achieve self-sustainability within our communities, we empower project participants with the capacity to decide, run, maintain and own the projects.
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There are so many ways in which you can get involved to help contribute to fighting malnutrition in this beautiful country. We look forward to hearing from you.