Nica Richards
Deputy online news editor
3 minute read
6 Dec 2020
11:44 am

‘Father Christmas of Africa’ aids SA’s kids with meal packs

Nica Richards

Kinglsey Holgate and his foundation have travelled thousands of kilometres to deliver meal packs and Covid-19 essentials to poverty-stricken children in the Free State region, ahead of the festive season.

The Kingsley Holgate Foundation, in partnership with Land Rover, has assisted disadvantaged communities by delivering meal packs to schoolchildren. Photo: Supplied

Nearing the end of yet another epic journey by professional adventurers and do-gooders, Kingsley Holgate and his son Ross, the expedition arranged by Land Rover to test the Defender range could not have come at a better time. 

The year is almost at an end, but festivities in 2020 may prove to be more challenging for some than ever before. 

Children at Carolina School receive 300 DoMore porridge meals, masks, schoolbags, water bottles and electronic temperature scanners. Picture: Nica Richards

The Holgates set out to follow the land border of South Africa, tracking the Atlantic and Indian Ocean coastlines with a circumnavigation of landlocked Lesotho in September. 

The journey, dubbed the Mzansi Edge Expedition, is not just to follow non-existing pathways while mapping the country’s border. It is also to hand out hundreds of thousands of meals to rural and impoverished communities whose circumstances have worsened due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Kingsley Holgate at Carolina School in the mountains of the Free State, to distribute 300 DoMore porridge packs. Picture: Nica Richards

The Kingsley Holgate Foundation’s expedition is an estimated 70-day, 10,000km humanitarian journey. When the Land Rover team caught up with the Holgates on their own expedition, with many new Defenders in tow, they helped transport roughly 21,000 meals to disadvantaged school children in the Free State.

The Kingsley Foundation and Land Rover assisted in delivering 1800 1kg packs of porridge to Bana ba Hlokang NPO in Clarens. Picture: Supplied

Kingsley Holgate and his son Ross delivering meal packs at Bana ba Hlokang NPO in Clarens. Picture: Supplied

Their goal is to hand out 250,000 meal packs by the end of the year, which consist of ten 1kg bags of nutritious DoMore porridge. With more than half of the expedition completed, the Holgates have delivered around 214,000 meals so far. 

From the borders of Mozambique, Eswatini and Botswana to the Kruger National Park and Mapunubwe Heritage Park, the Holgates and Land Rover have delivered food to 1253 children and more than 180 families. 

Kingsley Holgate delivering backpacks to schoolchildren in need at Bana ba Hlokang NPO in Clarens. Picture: Supplied

 “From the rocky, boulder-strewn Lebombo Mountain gullies, to the high dunes and deep, soft sand of the Kalahari, the new Defender has conquered everything in its path. 

“We’ve crossed countless rivers and covered seemingly endless kilometres of bone-shaking corrugated gravel roads, yet we look forward to the second half of the Mzansi Edge Expedition and making a difference to the lives of thousands along the way,” Kingsley said when he and his team reached the Western Cape. 

Kingsley Holgate shows the journey he and his team have travelled so far, mapping the borders of South Africa. Picture: Supplied

The Defender leading the Holgates’s travels is the P400, the first hybrid vehicle to join the family’s fleet.

The Land Rover Defender P400 has made the Kingsley Holgate Foundation’s journey across the country possible. Picture: Supplied

“This journey, along with so many before it, has highlighted once again how the teamwork and camaraderie among the expedition crew and those we meet en route make us all capable of great things. 

“With the zen of travel still on our side, we’ll continue tracing the eastern border of South Africa, complete a lap of Lesotho, and finish up back in Kosi Bay late in November.”

Kingsley Holgate in the Land Rover Defender P400. Picture: Supplied

Thanks to the capabilities of the Defender never letting the Holgates down, a festive season that may have seemed bleak has been significantly improved, owed to the generous “Father Christmas of Africa”. 

The vehicles made the mammoth humanitarian journey possible, more plausible, and allowed Kingsley and his family to spread much-needed joy across the country. 

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