Food For Thought’s Project Africa supports ongoing work by Hope Initiatives in Namibia (map below). We chose this project, in part, because of already existing local efforts to provide assistance to this country. Doctors from Sonoma County have helped to set up an anti-retroviral program, and others have worked to support the programs of Patricia Sola and John Mafukidze, the founders of Hope Initiatives. This project now includes two soup kitchens and a bridging school.
In 2007 FFT formed a partnership with ANSA, the Association of Nutrition Services Agencies, which had acquired a grant to assist in providing support and counsel to HIV/AIDS programs in Africa. ANSA’s coordination efforts allowed us to utilize not only our skills and resources but also those of Food and Friends in Washington, D.C. and MANNA in Philadelphia to support the Hope Initiatives project.
Many of Food For Thought's staff members have travelled to Africa to work on the project. FFT Client Services Manager Rachel Gardner traveled to Namibia for two weeks with an ANSA team. Their work focused on capacity building and developing support services. Rachel felt that this collaborative effort created tremendous opportunities to improve the lives of people living with AIDS in these areas.