Local humanitarian mission for 21 SAI ahead of DRC deployment


Ahead of deployment to Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as part of a UN peacekeeping – and humanitarian – mission, support elements of an SA Army infantry battalion “executed” a humanitarian task locally to much appreciation from a farm school outside Bloemfontein.

The local mission saw soldiers from 21 SA Infantry Battalion, Doornkop, Johannesburg, take time from pre-deployment briefings, medicals and training at the Department of Defence (DoD) mobilisation centre at De Brug to ensure 93 children at Eersteling Farm School could “enjoy” the contents of a military made-up food carry bag.

The let’s help effort was the brainchild of Major Carl Fuller, 21 SAI second in command. Working with Mob Centre personnel and the “rear element” – the support personnel for the sharp end of the battalion – help and donations were inspanned for tinned food, milk, bread, cereal, coffee, sugar, energy bars, a pack of sweets and juice. This made its way into the grateful hands and mouths of children aged four to 17 under the guidance and tutelage of principal Mrs Molatodi.

Asked why by 21 SAI information officer Major Anele Cengani, Fuller said simply: “A hungry child is an angry child”.

He added: “Education is the key to opening doors in all spheres of life. Teachers must be thanked for dedicating their time to educating the kids. Teaching is not a job, it’s a calling”.