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Formidable Women Help Shape FoodForward SA’s Future

Not only does FoodForward SA believe that when you feed a woman you nourish a nation, but we also value the important role women play in the workplace. In celebration of Women’s Month, we would like to pay tribute and feature some of the formidable women at FoodForward SA.

Mpho Letlape, FFSA Board Director
“I joined FFSA’s board of directors a few years ago, wondering how and what I was going to contribute. I did not think of how it would enhance my understanding and appreciation of the challenge of poverty and resultant hunger in our country. 

When Covid-19 hit, FFSA was quick off the mark and became the premier distributor of food to those most in need, be it long, medium or short term. 

The number of beneficiaries increased instantaneously and FFSA became a key partner to government, making a meaningful difference. That responsiveness and resilience from the team on the ground is what makes me proud to be a director of this humble but impactful organisation.”

Namhla Skweyiya-Gatya, FFSA Board Director
“My passion for food security took flight when I started working as a food technologist and got involved in farm management.

It is an honour to hold the position of one of the directors at FoodForward SA for the past 3 years. The hard work and humility of the staff, volunteers and my fellow board members have taught me the true definition of perseverance.

The generosity of our donors, community supporters and, most importantly, the belief that together we are making a difference to the lives of others in an outstanding way is a true measure of our heartbeat as a nation. FoodForward SA offers a great opportunity for fellow South Africans to exercise the power of Ubuntu.

As a female director at FFSA, I do feel I am listened to, my views matter and that there is a great level of respect and open communication.”

Tshepo Harvey-Modise, FFSA Board Director “Growing up in the townships, I thought I knew about the issues of poverty and hunger. My involvement with FoodForward SA has, however, highlighted the grave extent of acute hunger and the lack and excess of food in our country.

FoodForward SA plays a critical role in redirecting quality food that would have ended up in landfills, to provide thousands of people access to nutritional food on a daily basis.

The action taken by the leadership and staff in response to the Covid-19 crisis further displays the commitment to the cause. I am honoured to be part of an organisation that continues not only to advocate but also to play a role in addressing a basic need and providing dignity to our communities.”

Dipuo Magano, FFSA Truck Driver
“I started working at FoodForward SA’s Rustenburg branch in 2013 as a general worker. Previously, I worked at the taxi rank for 23 years selling food.

I’m currently working as a truck driver and my ambition is to get more experience in supply chain management.”

Sonelisiwe Copiso, FFSA Intern
“I started the FoodForward SA Youth Supply Chain Internship Programme in May 2019. Before that, I studied at Walter Sisulu University.

The Internship exposed me to client relations, time management and leadership skills, which I have learnt from the branch manager and my supervisor. The course is very practical and the supply chain aspect of it seems to hold many opportunities.

In November 2019, I was appointed to a permanent position as a general worker/admin assistant at the FFSA warehouse in Cape Town. My career ambition is to work in management because I already have a degree in Supply Chain Management. I love working for FoodForward SA because we are helping vulnerable South Africans.”

Yolanda Makhanya, FFSA Operations Manager
“I am the manager that is based at FoodForward SA’s Durban branch. 

Even though I can’t deny that I  work in a man’s world, it has never been a determining factor in my life. My team members who report to me are all men and so are the supervisors I report to.

Instead of seeing this as a disadvantage, I choose to find the strength in myself to push boundaries – physically and mentally. I am proud to say there is absolutely  nothing I can’t do in my warehouse as a female. I can pack a pallet and drive a forklift and 8.5 tonner truck.

Even though I have experienced great joy, I have also experienced how people associate men with certain jobs and capabilities. Often people who visit our warehouse will walk right past me looking for a male staff member. I always gently smile as they embarrassingly walk back to greet me.

Rome was not built in a day. We, therefore, should first understand why such stigmas even exist, it’s because of our social and legal jurisdictions from the past that only empowered men. We need to understand that it’s only through engaging these marked-off male territories that we as women are able to showcase what we are capable of.

I absolutely love my profession and I’m honoured to be a young  woman leader in an organisation that helps reduce hunger in KZN.” 

Charné Kriel – FFSA Rustenburg Branch Manager
“Working for FoodForward SA is the most rewarding job ever. I think it is the noblest cause we have to work towards, to eradicate hunger in SA. It makes you appreciate the meals you eat daily so much more!

Before starting to work at FoodForward SA, I worked at RCL Foods as HOD for the Procurement and Warehouse Department and I obtained a National Diploma in Purchasing and Supply Chain Management.”

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