LANXESS contributes to education by ensuring a child is fed.

Specialty chemicals company LANXESS today handed over a specially designed mobile kitchen to be used for the preparation of and providing meals for the Ratang Bana Centre beneficiaries. 

Ratang Bana is a non-profit organisation whose main focus is to support and empower its beneficiaries, which include vulnerable children from child-headed households, those affected and infected by HIV and AIDS, and the elderly who help look after orphaned children.

The centre programme includes a food garden manned by the local community, whose products are used to provide meals for its beneficiaries and some get sold to the community to help generate income that contributes to the running of the centre. 

“The feeding programme benefits 461 orphaned and vulnerable school going children with meals consistently, contributing to the children’s regular and punctual school attendance. It also enables them to attend school on full stomachs. With the newly forged partnership with LANXESS we know that on a daily basis Ratang Bana will makes a difference in the lives of the 271 families from the Alexandra community”, said Ingrid Maredi, Founder and Centre Manager at Ratang Bana.

According to the Children’s Institute at the University of Cape Town, the effects of poor nutrition on children are far reaching. It is estimated that more than 200 million children under five years globally will not realise their full cognitive development due to poverty, lack of proper care, poor health and inadequate nutrition. 

Addressing the guests during the handover, Mr. Ben Marais, LANXESS South Africa Country Representative and Managing Director said, “Corporate Responsibility is an integral part of LANXESS’s strategy. With it we aim to bring in line economic, ecological and social considerations, while implementing targeted initiatives, including those directly and indirectly contributing to education. It is for this reason that LANXESS saw the need to invest in the procurement of a mobile kitchen that will see Rata Bana’s feeding scheme operating more efficiently.”

Problems such as hunger, malnutrition and micro-nutrient deficiencies that affect physical growth and cognitive development, especially among children, have a negative impact on education. They hold back the learning and development of millions of children around the world and the effects are more dire in developing nations such as South Africa. According to a recent study published on the Lancet medical journal, children who do not get proper nutritional care and stimulation will earn about 26% less than others as adults.

“At LANXESS we understand the importance of impacting the quality of lives of people in the communities we operate in. The company cares about investments of this nature, which support education and benefit the community to ensure its sustainability”, said Marais.

Alexandra Township, located in close proximity to the LANXESS offices in Greenstone, is one of the areas in Gauteng affected by issues such as high population density, poor infrastructure and a high unemployment rate. Ratang Bana has, over the years, given the community of Alexandra a chance of upward mobility by providing food in the form of food parcels to needy families and children.

Acknowledging receipt of the mobile kitchen, an elated Ms. Maredi said, “On behalf of all affiliated with Ratang Bana Centre, I receive this mobile kitchen with great excitement and gratitude. It is because of organisations such as yourselves that the Ratang Bana nutrition and orphan care programme is able to provide food to help to relieve child hunger and the burden of worrying about when the next meal is going to come from.”

Research suggests that poor nutrition affects the educational outcomes of children, adult working capacity and economic productivity. It has also been revealed that in Johannesburg alone, 43% of the poor face starvation and malnutrition. Researchers believe the figure could be higher and every day thousands of children go hungry. Our social commitment is aligned to our corporate expertise and targets and is focused on four areas of activity: education, climate protection, water and culture.

“As a company, LANXESS draws numerous benefits from the communities in which it operates. We believe that by investing to empower our surrounding communities, we not only play a meaningful role, but we also do the right thing and remain in line with the company’s concept of corporate citizenship,” concluded Marais.

Forward-Looking Statements
This company release contains certain forward-looking statements, including assumptions, opinions, expectations and views of the company or cited from third party sources. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could cause the actual results, financial position, development or performance of LANXESS AG to differ materially from the estimations expressed or implied herein. LANXESS AG does not guarantee that the assumptions underlying such forward-looking statements are free from errors nor does it accept any responsibility for the future accuracy of the opinions expressed in this presentation or the actual occurrence of the forecast developments. No representation or warranty (expressed or implied) is made as to, and no reliance should be placed on, any information, estimates, targets and opinions, contained herein, and no liability whatsoever is accepted as to any errors, omissions or misstatements contained herein, and accordingly, no representative of LANXESS AG or any of its affiliated companies or any of such person's officers, directors or employees accept any liability whatsoever arising directly or indirectly from the use of this document.

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