Last Sunday – Sunday 7th April – was World Health Day, and this means it’s the perfect chance for us to recap on a trip our Ops team took to South Africa and Mozambique to learn more about the work our partner Nando’s do in trying to help tackle malaria and raise awareness of the disease and how they’re helping improve lives of people in towns across Southern Africa. Each year, a team from All About Food offer their assistance in helping prevent people from getting the disease. Here’s our story of the trip from Katie B’s point of view:

Day 1

Arriving at Manchester Airport for around 9am was maybe the easiest part of the trip. What was planned for the next few days, we knew, was long, hard days but also really rewarding, exciting days. We were prepared to work hard, and play hard (when we could!).

The 10hr+ flight to Johannesburg was largely fine, we all tucked into snacks and films and wondered what was in store for us. We had seen pictures from other trips and even though they looked really rewarding, each day looked really hard work.

As soon as we got off the plane, we were met by Leigh, from Nando’s Central Kitchen, who gave us all of the information we needed, who took us to the CK and was so kind, accommodating and helpful, telling us about every part of our trip going forward. As well as this, she took us around the Central Kitchen.

When we arrived at Central Kitchen we were told about Nando’s, the business, the history and the future. It was nice to hear about the growth of the company and where is has come from.

During the afternoon of the first day we spent time visiting chilli and sauce factories and learning more about the process that affects what our business does – sauces!

After this, what with the flight, the morning and the factory visits in the afternoon, the day was starting to get to us. We decided to head back to the hotel, where a quiet drink and reflection on a full day started at the hotel bar, followed by a wonderful meal and a well-earned early night.

Day 2

Day 2 was an early one! Because we were travelling to Mozambique, we had to be up at the absolute crack of dawn. Our flight was 5am so we were in the airport for 4am and ready to travel. Our plan in Mozambique was to help out with the Nando’s malaria team in their malaria spraying sessions. These sessions were funded by Nando’s to help protect some of the local towns in Mozambique from the threat of malaria. This is done by teams using great, big canisters of malaria repellent that protects homes and buildings, therefore the people in them.  

Even though our flight was early and we’d had a tough, long day the day before, there was an air of anticipation as to what we were going to be doing for the next day or two. As I said earlier, we’d seen the pictures of our Sales team taking part in the spraying and it looked like hot and heavy work, especially with the heat being intense from early in the day.  

As soon as we arrived in Mozambique, we were met by a massive bundle of energy by the name of Selwyn. Selwyn’s job was given the task of keeping us up-to-date, on both our plans and what was to come on the trip. After a stop for refreshments after the long trip, we made our way to the chilli farms that Nando’s work with. These farms, farms that Nando’s fund and buy from, mostly employ women. They do this to empower the women from the local community, to educate them in farming and allow them to create a better life for themselves within the local and wider community. This trickle-effect helps the current generation and generations to come.

Meeting the women and engaging with this wonderful project was just one excellent part of the day. It was awesome to see literally where the chillies for our sauces come from and how there’s a link between this country and our own, via empowering programmes and hard work to boot. One of our values is family, and to see our extended family benefit from what is being done here is something to really appreciate.