When Gavin Varejes first established the South African Rugby Legends Association, his intention was to use the unifying nature of sport to raise funding and awareness for charitable causes in South Africa. In partnership with many of the current and retired great rugby players produced by South Africa over the years, SARLA has promoted and coordinated many successful events and matches that have generated a substantial amount in donations for the various organisations that they support. Gavin Varejes has also partnered with many of the foundations established by former players, including the John Smit Foundation otherwise known as Barney’s Army.
Always looking to maximise the contributions made, Gavin Varejes has recently overseen a partnership with Joint Aid Management, a South African based Christian humanitarian charity focussed on various projects and programs throughout Africa. Established in 1984, Peter Pretorius has spent the last 25 years fighting poverty and underdevelopment throughout Africa. Active in over 7 countries, including Angola, Rwanda, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Sudan, JAM’s programs provide immense relief to those suffering hunger and limited opportunity
One of the major programs operated by JAM is a food program that feeds hundreds of thousands of people every day. Providing a highly nutritious porridge that provides about 75% of a child’s daily calorific needs, the program feeds children through their schools and in many cases supplies food to malnutrition clinics too.
The partnership between JAM and the South African Rugby Legends Association will aim to bring food to over 25,000 children who participate in the various rugby clinics conducted by SARLA in under privileged communities. With many children surviving on less than a meal a day, SARLA hopes that they can bring more than just rugby to the poorer communities they serve.