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Pretoria – What started as an objective to deliver 200,000 meals to impoverished South African communities during national lockdown in 2020, has become one of the Kingsley Holgate Foundation’s biggest ever humanitarian successes with the total tally now reaching more than 2-million meals over the past two years.
Global Land Rover ambassador Kingsley Holgate recently called on well-known musician Lira and rugby legend Bryan Habana – also Land Rover ambassadors – to lend a hand with the delivery of food parcels to an early childhood development centre in Thembisa, Johannesburg. The mission was captured in a short film under the banner of #TeamDefender which is an initiative to build a community of like-minded people, who aspire to go above and beyond to make more of their world.
Kingsley Holgate, said: “When we set off almost two years ago on our Mzansi Edge expedition – an 8-day, 16,000km journey to track the land borders of South Africa, we set a target of 200,000 meal deliveries to families in rural areas bordering game reserves that were suffering losses of income due to the pandemic. By the end of the expedition in December 2020, we had surpassed our goal and delivered 250,000 meals in the form of nutritious porridge parcels.
“Naturally, as explorers who use adventure to save and improve lives, our expedition team continued humanitarian efforts through lockdown and raised the bar to 500,000 meals, then 1-million and so on. By April last year we had delivered 1.2-million meals to those in need and shortly after the start of our latest Defender Transcontinental expedition in October, we reached the 2-million mark.
“I am delighted that my fellow Land Rover ambassadors Lira and Bryan answered the call to play a part in this milestone achievement, and to be part of a team of inspired individuals with a shared vision to make great things happen.”
Award-winning vocalist Lira, said: “I am a huge admirer of the Kingsley Holgate Foundation and I’m proud to be a member of the Team Defender family along with Kingsley, his son Ross and the legendary Bryan Habana. Team Defender is about the will to leave your comfort zone and exploring uncharted territories to provide help to those in need.
“I may have only played a small part in the 2-million meal accomplishment, but charity and volunteering are close to my heart. Witnessing the joy that Kingsley and his team have brought to millions of people for many decades first hand has left me with an immense sense of pride. I encourage anyone to seek new experiences and find the courage it takes to make more of their world.”
Former Springbok Bryan Habana, said: “It’s a privilege to use my role as a Land Rover ambassador to give back, and I’m honoured to have joined Kingsley and his team for part of his latest expedition. The work his Foundation has done throughout the pandemic is of massive importance to communities in South Africa, and I bid him and his team farewell as they leave Mzansi’s borders to continue humanitarian efforts across Africa and into Europe.”
Kingsley Holgate’s year-long Defender Transcontinental expedition promises to be one of his most challenging geographic and humanitarian journeys to date. The expedition involves a 30,000km journey through 30 countries from the southern tip of the African continent to the most northern point of Europe, and then on to the birthplace of Land Rover at the mystical Isle of Anglesey in Wales.
It will be the first real-life expedition test for Land Rover’s new Defenders outside of South African borders, across two continents and over some of the most extreme terrain on Earth, undertaken by an experienced team that has already completed 39 gruelling expeditions to every country on the African continent and beyond – many of them world-firsts.
Humanitarian objectives for the Defender Transcontinental expedition include eye tests and reading glasses for the elderly in remote areas, the distribution of insecticide-treated mosquito nets to mothers and children, the delivery of two million meals to creches, educational conservation work near elephant and rhino populations, and the supply of water to communities with water shortages.
Lira, Bryan and Kingsley embody the #TeamDefender spirit of like-minded people, who aspire to go above and beyond to make more of their world. More than just a clever hashtag, Team Defender showcases how we are capable of great things when working as a united force. Defender is a symbol of modern strength; a true representation of the courage to make a difference.
Watch the film featuring Lira, Bryan Habana and the Holgates here.