Raise for Maize is an annual campaign to provide food for the students of Dwankhozi Primary School during the community’s ‘hungry season.’ In this region of rural Africa, January through March is a season of intense rain, when crops aren’t ready for harvest and the previous year’s stored food is low. Residents are lucky to eat one meal a day. During this time, Dwankhozi Hope comes alongside the community and school in order to ensure there is enough food for students and adults at the school.
During this time, children often come to school hungry and leave hungry. Learning is not just more difficult, it’s nearly impossible. The school day must be shortened and most families are more concerned with finding their next meal. This is an ongoing community need and a reality for rural communities in this part of the world, who rely on farming for food and personal income.
A short, intense fundraising campaign each winter ensures the children and community have enough food to make it through this season. With the community’s direction, we have also continued to support agricultural and educational projects to increase sustainability and self-sufficiency during these seasons. Women in the community are willing to make the traditional cornmeal-based, nutritious Nshima. This is a community of people who care deeply about their school and children. When this meal is available during the school day for the duration of this tough season, school attendance remains high and the students’ and teachers’ momentum for learning is sustained.