Free Lunch for Children proposes plan to expand to Ethiopia

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During the fifth Chinese Charity Expo, some attention was attracted by a small seminar entitled ‘Can Free Lunch for Children be Spread to Africa?’

The seminar, held on the 24th of September, was presided over by the brand director of Free Lunch for Children. It opened with the deputy president of the Chinese Red Cross Foundation, Liu Xuanguo, giving a talk entitled ‘Who can save the 100,000 homeless children in Addis Ababa?’, in which he shared the field experiences of his visit to Africa.

In his talk Liu spoke a bit about the general situation in Ethiopia and Uganda and proposed a model of assistance to Africa through cooperation between Chinese philanthropic organisations and the Red Cross in Africa. Specifically, he suggested setting up some pilot sites in Addis Ababa (the Ethiopian capital) which would provide the local homeless children with a free lunch.

Deng Fei, who initiated the Free Lunch for Children in China, led a discussion with the founders of several other foundations on how the free lunch program could enter Africa. All the guests at the seminar spoke highly of the project, and expressed their belief that the cooperation in Africa between Chinese philanthropic organisations and the local Red Cross is in accord with China’s government assistance to Africa and Chinese enterprises’ business interests there, as well as China’s ‘One Belt One Road’ strategy. The project will help improve the nutritional level and the educational level of the local homeless children, and further the development of these less developed countries.

Combining it with the experience of the Free Lunch for Children in China, Deng Fei gave a comprehensive explanation of how the project would unfold, including the collection of resources, volunteers’ participation and the building of the dining hall, as well as project management and supervision.

The founder of the Renren Foundation suggested that China’s social organisations should also ‘go out’ more and improve China’s image in coordination with the Chinese government’s international strategy. Finally the founder of the Dream Chasing Foundation shared the experience of his team’s research on slums in Africa. At the end of the seminar, Deng Fei presented a summary and claimed his determination to put the project into practice in the future.