In 2020, the world was embroiled in a global pandemic whose impact has extended beyond human lives and health, to crises in economies and food securities. The African continent has been hit the hardest in both its economy and food supply, which has left a large number of people in Africa undernourished, with bleak future prospects, as of 2020. The situation is further aggravated by the Covid-19 pandemic and the consequential health crises, as well as travel, transportation and trade restrictions and increased border controls.
In response to the food shortages in Africa driven by the pandemic, the SSSIO united as one global family during 2020, with the objective to:
- Ensure access to food for needy and vulnerable members/families across Africa
- Improve nutrition security
- Help to improve the quality of life for the needy/distressed
- Provide SSSIO members opportunities to serve the community
Support for the HElp Africa Relief (HEAR) project has poured in from many countries of the SSSIO. Volunteers have assessed the dietary requirements, then purchased food, which was transported to several countries in Africa in large shipping containers. The SSSIO of Kenya has distributed large quantities of food and supplies locally.
As of December 2020, as part of the HEAR project, several 20-ft long shipping containers of food have been sent to Gabon, Angola, Senegal, Congo, Togo, Benin, Madagascar, Nigeria, South Africa, Cameroon, and Ivory Coast. Each container holds 19-20 tons of food which is sufficient for about 1,300 families for a month. Food distribution has been completed in South Africa, where 2,770 hampers of food were donated in the following regions: Western Cape, Eastern Cape, North Coast, Durban, South Coast, Midlands, Chatsworth 1, Chatsworth 2, Johannesburg, West Rand, and Northern Natal. The delivery of food and supplies is being scheduled in the remaining countries, starting in December 2020.
SSSIO members around the world are grateful for the opportunity to serve our brothers and sisters in Africa and offer relief and hope.