Clothes to Food & Play

Clothes to Good (C2G) and Rise Against Hunger (RAH) have teamed up to offer low resourced creches a sustainable Early Childhood Development (ECD) solution to their challenges of educating children from 0 to 7 years old.

According to the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) report, 8 of 10 SA children cannot read: The report also found that 78% of South African Grade 4 learners are unable to read with meaning. This means that they could not reach the lowest international PIRLS benchmark.

This, and the sad statistic of a 55% drop-out rate before grade 12 meaning that less than half the children starting grade 1 will actually complete their high school education constitutes an education crisis in SA. While caregivers at low resourced Early Childhood Development (ECD) centres are passionate and dedicated to change these statistics, they lack knowledge and skills to provide quality stimulation to the children in their care and very rarely have access to ECD resources. Furthermore, many SA children go to school hungry and oftentimes, the meal they receive at the ECD centre is usually their only meal for the day.

To give these children a better chance at educational success, Clothes to Good (C2G), in collaboration with Rise Against Hunger (RAH), have started the Clothes to Food & Play initiative.

By students recycling their clothes through Clothes to Good, funds will be raised to provide highly nutritious meals to children in low resourced ECD centres. The savings from these meals donated to the low resourced ECD centres will be used to upgrade the centre to improve their chances of securing a Department of Social Development grant. In addition to the meals, Clothes to Good will also be providing ECD toys made from recycled materials and training to caregivers to empower them to provide better education to the children in their care. These toys are mostly produced by people with disabilities working in the Clothes to Good ecosystem.

Rise Against Hunger Africas meal packaging programme is a volunteer-based programme that utilises volunteers to package highly nutritious dehydrated meals comprised of rice, soya, vegetables and 23 essential vitamins and minerals. The meals are easy to store and transport. One packet can feed 6 adults or 10 children. Each box contains 36 packets, 216 meals. The meals also have a shelf life of one year and only require water and a basic stovetop to cook. . Clothes to Play, has been launched to raise funds to support Early Childhood Development (ECD) at day care centres. The ECD Day Care mothers training, toolkits and other complementary programmes will be provided through Life Link 24/7 Cares NPO. These ECD kits will help serve all children, including those living with disabilities.