Inyathelo in the Headlines

Jordan's One Bag 'a-maize-s' 50 000 - 07 Dec 2012 - The New Age

By MARYNA VAN WYK

TWELVE-YEAR-OLD Jordan van der Walt is making his mark on society - for good. The young, slightly built, boy from Johannesburg recently received the Inyathelo Award for philanthropic children for his Just One Bag initiative.

Through this programme, bags of maize meal are collected and distributed to children throughout South Africa. So far 1 million children have benefitted. Jordan says he was motivated to begin his project after watching a documentary on the plight of children who go to school hungry.

In 2011 he asked his classmates to each bring a bag of maize meal to school and the project was born. A year later, 50 schools have joined and around 50 000 children are involved, along with companies.

Jordan was invited to deliver a speech to the University of the Free State's summer graduates by vice-chancellor Prof Jonathan Jansen. "I thought that there was no advice I could give any adult but I thought it was best to obey the professor," Jordan said. He told the graduates that just doing things wasn't enough. "If it doesn't come from the heart, it's meaningless."