Pap & Porridge Fast: Reflections from Ann, Board Member


The COP17 link is really important – have people read the estimates that Africa is expected to experience something like a 50% crop failure in the coming decades due to climate change? I know how much I am not liking the hotter/colder, wetter, weirder weather we are getting here in the US, but we don’t quite get to see how it affects our food supply so long as we are buying our food in still well-stocked stores – except through prices, where it is hard to see exactly which system failure is the cause. 

For today at least, I am sucking down this mealie paste, I mean porridge, with the memory of several child-headed households I visited in Mpumalanga on a project a few years back. They were the children of undocumented migrants from Zimbabwe and Mozambique, whose parents had succumbed to HIV/AIDS, leaving the eldest children, some of whom were only 8 years old, to look after their younger brothers and sisters in empty, dusty shacks. They had few options for seeking support because, although many had been born in SA, the fact that their parents were undocumented left them without claims to citizenship or services – even if there was anyone who could assist them to pursue such documents. Certainly they would have been happy to have the certainty I have of another meal of porridge or pap a few hours from now. I will keep them in my thoughts today whenever I feel grumpy about this food. (And I am what they call a “foodie”, so grumpy is a real possibility, lol! How lucky we are to even have such a concept, born as it is of choice and accessibility.) I want to welcome and thank all of you who have agreed to join us on this journey – I hope it will be meaningful to all of you, and not too ‘gruelling’.

Good Luck everyone!

Ann Eveleth

Board Member, CHOSA

Support Ann in her fast by pledging a donation to CHOSA at www.razoo.com/story/papandporridge!

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