Runners Complete 600km Journey To Raise Awareness For Child Hunger

Kabelo Mabalane and Peteni Kuzwayo, founders of Move the Nation.

Move The Nation founders Kabelo Mabalane and Peteni Kuzwayo recently completed a gruelling 600km 17-day run from Johannesburg to Durban.

They braved intense cold, heat, muscle aches and physical exhaustion to raise funds for the growing number of South African children who are going to bed hungry every night as part of the Hope with Every Step campaign.

Kabelo Mabalane and Peteni Kuzwayo, founders of Move the Nation.

The messengers of hope have so far raised more than R1.3 million for the cause, with more pledges still coming in. Old Mutual, who powered and supported their run across three provinces, donated R1.1 million – included in the total funds raised thus far, while food manufacturer Kellogg’s confirmed their pledge of R265,000. Ferguson Films, Hollywood Bets and Arishumeng pledged R100,000 each and the difference is from varied individuals.

The beneficiaries of their mission are Joint Aid Management (JAM), an international food relief organisation that already provides daily meals for 120,000 children across the country. David Brown, Country Director for JAM, said the two weary and footsore men had accomplished two great objectives. ‘On behalf of the 120,000 children we feed every school day in 3500 early childhood development (ECD) centres, thank you to Old Mutual and the #MoveTheNation campaign. May this initiative be a launchpad for a bigger and brighter future for children.’ Every R50 donated is able to feed an impoverished child for a month. 

Speaking at the finish line – at the JAM supported Carmenello Day Care Centre in Durban – the runners said that every painful step they took had been worth it. ‘Our 600km feat is a testament that when your why is based on a solid foundation, sustainability is inevitable. Thank you to everybody who played their part with donations. I am happy that we had the privilege to use running to assist and highlight the plight of many young South Africans going without food every day,’ said Mabalane.

It is estimated that 1.6 million South Africans go to bed hungry every night, a figure that has most certainly increased since the onset of Covid-19. ‘We hope that the awareness we have raised will result in organisations like JAM continuing to receive the cash they need to help build a nation in which people support one another and in which those who have much are happy to share with those who have little. The reality is that for the cost of a few cups of coffee a month, you can change a child’s life forever.’

The athletes also extended their gratitude to partners and all individual and corporate donors. ‘Without their support, none of this would have been possible,’ they said. Thobile Tshabalala, Head of Brand at Old Mutual, said, ‘For over 175 years, Old Mutual has been committed to championing mutually positive futures every day. As partners of Move the Nation, we have proudly supported Mabalane and Kuzwayo and their ‘Hope with Every Step’ campaign. It has been exciting to reimagine the purpose of running and use it to drive efforts to reduce hunger and malnutrition. We believe in the value of initiatives such as these, which help build a better, healthier and stronger nation.’

Individuals and corporates inspired by the runners’ commitment to making a real difference are encouraged to contribute and visit www.hopewitheverystep.com.