Inspired by a 23-day, 405km school hike with 124 of his fellow pupils, Ashton has set up an ambitious crowdfunding campaign on BackaBuddy to raise R125 000 to feed 150 impoverished individuals for the next six months.
“This trip was the first time I wasn’t able to open a fridge door when I wanted to. It made me realise how essential food is and got me thinking how terrible it must be to go without a meal for a day, let alone a few days,” he said.
Ashton realised the importance of a good breakfast on this trip, and said his school’s “best kept secret”, the marvellous “breakfast pack”, is what got the boys through their hike.
Ashton has made it his mission to share the long-standing tradition of the breakfast pack with those who need it most, the marginalised city dwellers who rely on feeding schemes, many which are no longer operating due to lack of funds.
Those schemes that have survived, like the St Alban's College programme, are under tremendous pressure to feed more mouths with limited capacity. Ashton realised the drastic need for a fully functional, sustainable feeding scheme with enough resources to feed the masses.
He set up his own campaign on BackaBuddy to crowdfund his cause and to create and distribute a breakfast pack, whose contents are unknown to the public but are said to be nutritionally rich and easily prepared by adding water.
The packs are enjoyed by the students of St Alban's College.
Ashton has a clear idea of what he wants to achieve and is no stranger to fundraising.
At age 11 he raised R15 000 to cover the medical costs of Mpheto Bidli, a student struck by lightning.
In 2015, he raised an astounding R46 072 to cover the costs of flights, accommodation, transport and meals for a cricket team to attend a tour at the Eersterust Cricket Club in Pretoria.
With his current campaign he wants to motivate his school and local community to be a part of his journey and to do their part, big or small, to change the lives of those less fortunate.
“My passion for helping others is what drives these projects. It takes more than me to help others, it takes a village,” said Ashton.
So far Ashton has raised R50 525. To help, go on to Ashton’s Breakfast For A Buddy campaign: https://www.backabuddy.co.za/champion/project/breakfast-for-a-buddy-campaign