Jordan van der Walt

12-year-old Jordan van der Walt received the 2012 Inyathelo Award for Children in Philanthropy for his ‘Just One Bag’ campaign that has fed over a million hungry children.


Jordan has single-handedly demonstrated that even the very young can make a huge difference in the lives of others. Moved by a documentary about the 3 million South African children that go to school hungry each day, the Grade 6 pupil at St John’s preparatory school in Johannesburg approached his principal and asked if he could get his classmates to each bring a bag of maize meal to school.  Jordan called the campaign ‘Just One Bag’ in support of his philosophy that all each of us need do is give ‘just one bag’ to make a big difference. Over the past year, he has collected nearly 100 tonnes of maize meal which has fed over a million children.

Over 50 schools have joined the campaign and more than 50 000 children have brought a bag of maize meal to school. Many businesses and corporates have also got involved, including a fleet of 20 tow trucks that arrived at the schools in convoy, hooting their horns, to pick up and distribute the maize meal.

This young crusader for change has also had a manta ray named after him following his efforts to raise funds for the Marine Mega-fauna Foundation that works to protect the manta rays being poached in Mozambique.