Since the national lockdown in March 27 2020, the Kingsley Holgate Foundation donated more than 1.2 million meals to underprivileged communities in South Africa.
With the love and support from partners and volunteers together with Land Rover who supplied two new Defenders 110s for transportation purposes, Kingsley and his team helped to feed thousands of rural homesteads, focusing on mothers and children, according to Motorpress.
Global Land Rover ambassador Kingsley Holgate said: “Good news stories are very welcome over this challenging time and we’re constantly impressed by the number of caring people and organisations that have stepped up to assist those in need during this seemingly endless Covid-19 pandemic.
Expedition Team Leader Ross Holgate added: “It’s been a massive test for the new Land Rover Defender. As part of our humanitarian efforts to assist communities suffering from the loss of income and jobs caused by the Covid-19 lockdown, we also undertook a challenging but inspirational 80-day, 16,000km expedition called Mzansi Edge last September.”
The team started at Kosi Bay mouth situated in iSimangaliso Wetland Park in northern Kwazulu-Natal. The journey continued through the country’s perimeter including the borders of Mozambique, Eswatini, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Nambia, the entire coastline of the Indian and Atlantic ocean and the Mountain Kingdom of Lesotho, with rain, mist and mud.
The route was a proper test for the new Land Rover Defender on South African soil. It proved the extreme capabilities of the Defender, but also contributed 270 000 meals to the total of over one million nutritious DoMore porridge packs delivered to families, creches and early childhood development centres close to wildlife areas over the past year.
Each 1kg porridge pack can provide up to 10 meals when mixed with water and it is distributed in bales of 10 packs each.
“In the beginning, we never thought that this Covid-19 humanitarian effort to distribute a million meals would be possible,” said Project Rhino ambassador Richard Mabanga, who converted his 2-tonne ‘Rhino Rig’ (normally used for community educational efforts around conservation and rhino poaching) into a food-carrying, nutrition education unit, which since the start of the pandemic in March last year, has travelled over 70,000 hard kilometres.
“But we’ve done it – 1.2-million meals to be exact – together with thousands of colourful ‘shweshwe’ face masks donated by Goodbye Malaria’s community-based sewing teams, countless bars of sanitising soap and Covid prevention health information.”
“We’ve now clocked over 30,000km in total with our two Defenders,” said Kingsley Holgate. “These vehicles have been instrumental in our efforts to reach remote areas for the distribution of well over one million meals.
“It’s a great collaborative yardstick and one that every person in the team is proud of – not to mention the immense gratitude from the recipients, which makes it all truly worthwhile. It is sometimes hard going, trying to reach deep into rural areas, camping where we end up, always making a plan and building trust with so many forgotten communities. But it’s been a humbling privilege to be at the frontline over this dark time and to observe the inner strength of so many good people who’ve also pitched in to assist.
“We pay tribute to Land Rover, the DoMore Foundation, Project Rhino, the teams from Ashton College, His Way Outreach and Grace Family Church Ballito, Nkombe Rhino and Goodbye Malaria. We also thank all the caring individuals who, at the onset of the pandemic, joined forces as volunteers under the Feeding the Wildlife Community banner and have made such a massive difference.”
The challenge now for Land Rover, the Kingsley Holgate team and the DoMore Foundation is to chase the next milestone and bring the total tally to over two million meals-worth of nutritious porridge packs, distributed primarily to mothers and children at ECD centres and creches in rural areas still facing hunger and hard times in the year ahead.