The Heart of the Home
the Beating Heart of a Community
At the heart of every home is the kitchen, where love and nourishment are dished out in the form of food, advice and life lessons. Unfortunately, for many families in South Africa, whilst not short of love, not every home has a kitchen stocked full of food.
In South Africa, it is estimated that around 12 million people go to bed hungry every night, and it’s usually women who bear the responsibility of feeding their families. With women heading up around 55% of black households in communities in South Africa, each woman is responsible for caring for around seven dependents. Seven mouths to feed – that’s a lot of hunger to relieve. Where there is income to be made, this is usually around a third less of what male counterparts can earn.
No mother wants her children to just survive or get through another day. Food in their bellies isn't enough. In order for children to have the confidence to achieve their full potential, they must be encouraged at an early age to develop their strengths and talents.
Unilever brand Knorrox stands behind strong, resourceful women. Women who uplift the spirit of their families through the power of giving and who use food as a way to nourish the bonds between themselves, their immediate family and their communities. It is through their belief in women and their power to transform, not just their own lives but the livelihoods of entire communities, that Knorrox launched their “Kitchen Queens” initiative in June 2014.
The programme helps women in South Africa harness their culinary talents and develop the business skills required to build their own sustainable catering businesses. This helps the women feed, not just their own families, but whole communities as each woman entrepreneur will employ around five women for her business.
For many women, cooking is the one reliable skill they possess, passed down to them from generation to generation. Knorrox believes this skill holds the power to stop the cycle of hunger and poverty in South Africa, by enabling and empowering women to build successful businesses to feed and support their families now, and into the future. Women are taking proud roles in their communities, helping transform their lives and the lives of others.
For Busisiwe Biyela, the programme has transformed her life. As the oldest child, she cooked for her siblings who would otherwise have been forced to wait for their mother (working as a teacher) to return home to get a hot supper ready for them. Busisiwe says:
“Being selected for the programme has changed my life in a big way. I was working in a bank when I heard about Knorrox Kitchen Queens. I decided to leave my job and give in to my passion. I have given this everything, 110%. We were trained, taught the small details of how to manage our business, and to involve other people so that the business can grow. Now my business is doing so well and the orders are coming in.”
A bright future has already begun
Through our Sustainable Living Plan, we have committed to empowering 5 million women by 2020, across our business. A key part of this goal, Knorrox is working to empower 5,000 community caterers by 2020.
As Knorrox Queen, Lebohang Zwane says: “If you empower a woman, you empower a nation”. Watch and share the film above to help us show the world how Knorrox women entrepreneurs are helping to create a bright future in South Africa. Consider yourself a strong, confident woman? Share your story with us in the comments below to help inspire other women to put the power of the bull in their hearts.
When you choose Unilever you help create a bright future.