JAM’s development approach

In line with JAM’s vision of Helping Africa help itself, our programmes are designed to provide long-term and sustainable solutions to beneficiaries across the African continent. Sustainability remains key since the continent needs to be able to feed itself.

This cannot be achieved through small one-acre farms alone as this will not build up the food security the continent needs. Small commercial farmers who can produce a surplus above their own needs are essential to building that vital safety net. Once the capacity of farmers is increased, logistics and market chain development are also instrumental to achieving this.

It is on this model that all JAM’s programmes, including water and sanitation, and agricultural development, is based. Many years after JAM was founded, we have reached millions of people in many communities in Africa. By adopting this development approach, we hope to reach more people in need. Our development programmes bring hope to the African countries we work in – where many communities have otherwise resigned themselves to bleak futures.

We help Africa Help Itself through the following programmes:

Nutritional school feeding

We work in communities that suffer from severe hunger and malnutrition on a daily basis. Hunger and malnutrition are the main causes of death in African children and is also a barrier to gaining an education. JAM was established because of a devastating famine that placed nearly four million Mozambicans at risk of starvation in 1984.

JAM feeds more than a million beneficiaries daily in Angola, South Africa, South Sudan and Mozambique. More than three decades later, this nutritional feeding programme has expanded beyond just bringing hunger relief to scores of African communities. It has evolved into innovative interventions that also promote education, social and economic development.

Agricultural development

Agricultural development remains one of Africa’s best responses to widespread poverty. It provides a mechanism for community development and growth, and promotes JAM’s central vision of Helping Africa help itself. We engage with communities, schools and smallholder farmers to improve agricultural practices and expand land usage, and set up agriculture as a viable occupation for the future.

In 2017 JAM introduced the Farm, Empower, Enhance and Distribute (FEED) Cycle, which is made up of four efficient, scalable steps:

JAM’s fully irrigated PLC Farm serves as both a major source of the maize and soya and as training for local farmers.

JAM builds the production capacity of local small commercial farmers through continued training and technical support such as providing game-changing pivot irrigation. Once smallholder farmers harvest a crop, JAM is a guaranteed buyer.

The maize and soya are fortified with vitamins and minerals and are processed into a corn soya blend (CSB).

The CSB is delivered to schools across Mozambique and other countries for JAM’s school feeding programmes.

Water Sanitation and Health

In sub-Saharan Africa, 325 million people still do not have access to clean water. To provide a critical and sustained response to this, JAM founded its water and sanitation programme in 2001. Access to clean water vastly improves the health of impoverished communities where villagers often have no option but to share stagnant and polluted water sources with livestock and risk contracting cholera, typhoid, and E.coli.

Water is life and JAM works to provide clean water, without which development would be impossible to those in need across all our programme areas. Water is provided through the drilling of boreholes and installing hand pumps for the affected communities. In so doing, we provide clean water to people and communities that have been ravaged by the effects of contaminated water.

Care for vulnerable children

Thousands of African children in Africa endure extreme socio-economic conditions. This demands greater care for vulnerable children. One of JAM’s first programmes, in 1986, established an orphanage for 300 Mozambican children and reintegrated almost all of the children into the community. The facility is now a skills training centre.

JAM’s child care efforts are concentrated in South Africa and Angola. In South Africa, JAM South Africa (JAM SA) supports more than 90 000 children in more than 1 700 child care centres in impoverished communities throughout South Africa.

School Makeovers

The objective of our school makeovers is to improve educational infrastructure creating a safe and stimulating environment for children to learn. In Mozambique particularly, access to water provision and agricultural training is also a specific focus. The scale and scope of school makeovers, or upgrades, depends on the budget available for each project.

Teams from all over the world take on the challenge and raise the funds for a designated school upgrade. Participants are accommodated at JAM’s facilities and travel to the school each day to complete the upgrade within seven to 10 days. JAM’s headquarters in Johannesburg is well equipped to accommodate and cater for groups of up to 17 people.