Slice of Africa Uganda: A Day To Remember
No more Hidden Children
In Uganda, children born with with mental disabilities, like Autism, Down Syndrome, or Cerebral Palsy, are hidden from the world. Children with these illnesses are wrongly labelled as being possessed, or bewitched and are literally locked away, out of fear, shame, and miseducation.
“What if you’d never heard of Autism? What would you think when you saw a child rocking, humming, not speaking to you? What about Down Syndrome or cerebral palsy?” says Embrace Kulture on their website
Embrace Kulture is a phenomenal organisation, working toward creating a world where all children are embraced. They teach vocational skills to post-primary youth, with the aim of empowering them, and enabling them to live self-sufficient lives. They are our partners in Uganda, and made a massive impact on our team during the Slice of Africa event.
Dance, Read, Repeat!
All of the events we’ve hosted have been upbeat and lively affairs, but the one in Uganda was by all accounts a true party. With music pumping there were dance sessions before and after the main event…and our team members battled to keep up! These kids were the life of the party. And don’t let their disabilities fool you, when it came time to unpack the Red Reading Boxes, there was no absolutely task that couldn’t be tackled.
Marlene von Berg, from Pizza Hut South Africa recounted her day, “It’s an emotional experience. You have to realize you can’t make a difference to everyone’s lives, but seeing 25 smiling faces, and knowing we’ve made a difference to them, was a big deal for me”
A Very Special Storyteller
The world needs more people like Mary: brave, selfless, and always smiling. Mary was our storyteller at the event, and her story of a naughty boy and a mother’s love was a real crowd pleaser. But its Mary’s own story that really struck a chord with us. Like many with disabilities, Mary was out of school most of her life, and many people thought she was incapable of learning. But when someone believed in her and gave her the opportunity to learn to read it was clear she had discovered a passion! In her own words “Reading prepares me so I can have a better future.”
And to top it off, once a week she works at a local pizza restaurant in her community to develop skills for future employment. Andre Strydom took her into the Pizza Hut kitchen to do her thing!
“The problems of my world seemed so insignificant once I started interacting with these kids that are so grateful for everything in life, happiness streaming from their faces. Quickly I realized that every little interaction I had with them made such a huge difference in their life. Small effort, HUGE impact! A day I will never forget.” says Andre Strydom of Pizza Hut South Africa
A Moment to Reflect
Not everyone has to change the world on their own, but if everyone can make a small difference, the effects will be felt. To our customers in Uganda, and across Africa, you can make a difference by donating to the African Literacy Project. 100% of the proceeds raised, bolstered by donations for Pizza Hut itself, will go to helping children in your community.
Share this post, follow the journey, make a donation, and let’s get Africa reading!
Downloadable press resources and photographs: https://pizzahutafricanliteracyproject.prowly.com
For interviews with the General Manager of Pizza Hut Africa, Ewan Davenport, please contact Lizzy Moletsane – firstname.lastname@example.org / +27 (0) 83 256 3918 / +27 (0) 11 886 0211
The Slice of Africa is Pizza Hut Africa’s contribution to the global initiative called Pizza Hut: The Literacy Project. Established in 2016, Pizza Hut: The Literacy Project was created to encourage literacy through providing reading resources and engaging customers to make a difference for the cause. In its first year, the global campaign impacted 15.9 million people and distributed more than 275,000 books and educational resources to communities in the U.S., Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica and South Africa.