Our Beneficiary Organisation (BO) Co-ordinators play a critical role in ensuring that surplus food donated from the supply chain for re-distribution to beneficiary organisations does not get misused. We recently accompanied Bukhosi, one of our BO Co-ordinators, to understand why monitoring and evaluation of BOs is key.
A matter of compliance
Before being on-boarded onto our beneficiary organisation (BO) network, all BOs undergo a stringent due diligence process. Once vetted, they receive regular, unannounced monitoring and evaluation (M&E) visits, which are crucial to ensuring compliance and that the food we distribute reaches the intended beneficiaries. The BO Co-ordinators also gather demographic data during these visits that help improve our operations. Each one of FoodForward SA’s BO Co-ordinators is assigned a province and visits a minimum of seven BOs a day. During a visit, they check that the BO has proper cooking facilities, the storage of food items is adequate, the kitchen is clean and that a ‘certificate of acceptability’ is visible at all times.
NPOs as safe spaces for vulnerable communities
Bukhosi took us to a non-profit organisation called Community Women Action, located in Devon Park, Eerste River. Upon our arrival, the security guard warmly welcomed us and called for Mrs Mouton, who runs the organisation. She was very happy to see Bukhosi again and very happily obliged to take us on a tour.
Mrs Mouton told us that the formation of Community Women Action (CWA) in 1999 was triggered by the brutal murder and horrific gang rape of a 14-year-old girl. Over the years, crime has increased in the area, and this incident so enraged the community that they had to take a stand. CWA was established as a safe space for the community, a place of hope, creativity and restoration. Mrs Mouton listed some of the CWA programmes to address violent crimes and alleviate poverty, such as those that focus on the development and upskilling of vulnerable women and youth in the community. They also started a winter school programme that has since developed into a fully-fledged training Institution that provides accredited skills training and supports the community at large through skills-development workshops.
Food security as a lever for social change
“The timing of your visit is perfect,” Mrs Mouton tells us as we walk towards the bakery where the students are busy preparing lunch, some baking, some dishing up, and others tidying up the kitchen. As part of the skills programme, the students learn catering skills through preparing their own lunch, which counts towards their practicals.
Mrs Mouton explains that the monthly surplus food provisions they collect from FoodForward SA’s Cape Town warehouse make an immense contribution towards their skills programmes, as the hearty meals serve as an incentive for them to continue and complete their courses. Community Women Action is an “umbrella” organisation, meaning they distribute food to other smaller organisations in poverty-stricken areas such as Mfuleni, Happy Valley and Kleinvlei. Not only do they provide food, but they also assist them with getting their NPO certification in order so that they may be able to qualify to apply and be part of FoodForward SA’s network of beneficiary organisations.
Mrs Mouton shared some words of wisdom: “We can give today so that people can give and spread the benefits to other people. Thank you to FoodForward SA for your assistance. Although lack of funding is a problem all over, we do with the little we have.”
After having spent some time at the Community Women Action we travelled to six other BOs on Bukhosi’s list, viz. Turn Around, Badisa, Anointed Edu-care Centre, Little Angels Home, Hottentots Holland Meals on Wheel & Service Centre, Joyce’s Sop Kombuis and Heartlands Baby Sanctuary.
At each one of these beneficiary organisations, Bukhosi used his checklist to determine if anything could compromise food safety, or if food was being used for purposes other than that for which it was intended. Fortunately, on the day of our visit, all the BOs ‘passed’ the unannounced M&E, which means they will continue as a member of our network, receiving their allocations of nutritious food provisions every month.
Find out more about how you can support the work of FoodForward SA at firstname.lastname@example.org