Whilst our international work is highly regarded and is extensively known, the scope of our local work in South Africa has not been fully grasped, yet it is substantially greater than all our international disaster response activities. Our relationship with the Department of Social Development goes back to 2002, when Gift of the Givers responded to the hunger crisis in the Eastern Cape where 166 children died of starvation.
Gift of the Givers was the only organisation that responded with 2,000 food parcels,which led to the then-Minister of Social Development, Dr Zola Skweyiya, requesting us to design a food parcel programme for South Africa, which we duly did. We were appointed by the Minister's office to roll out 204,000 food parcels in KZN and Eastern Cape for which we were given R60 million, a clear manifestation in our ability to deliver, as no NGO in the history of South Africa has ever been given this extent of funding by government. The blueprint we designed had to be replicated in the other seven provinces.
Our relationship with various ministeries has grown exponentially over the years. Partnering the Department of Health, we deployed 20 containerised primary health care units in various parts of South Africa. This containerised concept was an innovation, created by us, and a world first. We also try to adhere to the principles of social responsibility and the policy being adhered by government in our own proactive activities in South Africa. Our activities have been acknowledged by government with various Ministers, Premiers, etc gracing our activities with their presence.
On Monday, June 15, 2009, once again, we were honoured as the new Minister of Social Development, Ms Edna Molewa, graced our function at Luleka Primary School in Khayelitsha, Cape Town. At the event we distributed stationery packs, sweet packs, blankets, bottled water, Sibusiso Ready Food Supplement, food parcels and we fed 3,000 people.