This is a woman – lead initiative. Boikanyo DHF transformed a rubbish dump behind Sediba Thuto Primary school in Mapetla Soweto, into a vegetable garden the size of a soccer field. This is our flagship project, a coming together of school and community which has turned out to be an overwhelming success story.
We grow a variety of vegetables which are available to the school kitchen for augmentation of the school feeding scheme
The gardeners sell reasonably priced quality produce to the locals. It is no longer necessary to walk kilometers to the shop to buy vegetables anymore, hard earned money can now be spent on other necessities.
This garden has afforded us the opportunity to improve the nutritional status of the school children and community, it has also been an entry point for developing skills and other social upliftment programs.
The volunteers who run this garden have gone from strength to strength, their physical health so much better, and they have become entrepreneurs in their own right.
In 2017 it becme a self sustaining program, Boikanyo DHF ceased to pay stipends to the workers anymore and the volunteers took over running the project altogether.
Our volunteer gardeners have all been upskilled by Foundations for Farming, they are part of Izindaba Zokudla – a University of Johannesburg initiative which focuses on bringing all the farmers in Soweto together.
Vegetables are very reasonably priced. Households buying vegetables from the garden can save over a hundred rand a month.
The volunteer gardeners have independence to run this initiative as they see fit, it belongs to them.
Our garden has been an example to the community about issues related to environmental awareness, recycling education and respect for birds of prey.
We have promoted dignity and self respect, and entrepreneurial reinforcement
We impact on the school, parents, teachers, learners, Department of Education, and surrounding community.
This project has been a collaberation between so many stakeholders throughout the years, both in the private sector and government. It is a CSI initiative.
We have impacted the school, the parents/caregivers, teachers, learners, Department of Education and the community itself.
It is not what we get. But who we become, what we contribute… that gives meaning to our lives.
Aaron's Rock Your Socks eventually pictures arrived of the handout in Alex in May. Thank you little big guy - you have made those freezing days for these shack dwelling little ones a little more bearable. Having warm feet changes your entire experience of your day. Kelly-Ann Van Der Meer and Johannesburg Mini Council thank you for these Easter Eggs! ...
Mandela Day is this Thursday, we have been lucky enough to be beneficiaries of the Nashua Children's Charity Foundation 67 minutes of goodwill. We were asked to choose 6 little girls to represent us at a humongous party, for me this was a difficult request. We have so many children, all of them special, how to find those children who stand out in the crowd that I could send.....I decided that our special children will be those who have been through terrible trauma, and contacted Miranda Jordan of Women and Men Against Child Abuse. This phenomenal organisation has clinics where children who are about to testify against their abusers in court, are prepped. So now we have 6 little girls all ready to go represent us and be treated like princesses! For little ones whose short lives have taken them through hell, and who live in abject poverty, this day is such a blessing. Thank you Helen Fraser of Nashua Children's Fund for this, But that's not all! There will be a big truck of donations that we will receive for distribution. We are truly blessed. ...
For those of us who seek answers as to why some have it so hard, just the affirmation this week that everything happens for a reason, was very comforting. My encounter with the 2 tied up puppies has resulted in me connecting 2 giants in the world of animal rescue. Cannot give more details but I can rest knowing that animals in my hood of Soweto have some reason to celebrate. The most compassionate man who self funds sterilisations and runners on his meagre salary because he cannot stand the suffering in the squatter camps, is not alone anymore. ...
There was a beautiful upside to the traumatic find of 2 puppies tied up for life to their kennel in Protea South squatter camp: I went back to the shack 2 hours later and the road was buzzing. I stood out like a sore thumb - a white woman arriving alone in a car whilst everyone else was walking. People glared at me, I dont blame them. I parked on the pavement of the house and a few men walked towards me staring at me, then passing me. One man got a chair and sat on the pavement outside the house, watching and listening. I knocked and Thando came out. I offered her help her with her dogs and waited for her to change their water. I finished up by telling her that I will put her dogs on runners. I was now ready to go, and had forgotten about the man. I was at my car when ours eyes met - oh wow. The look on his face was amazing. He was smiling at me with such love, that stoney glare was replaced with absolute radiance - such appreciation, it was palpable. I smiled back and told him that every living creature on this planet deserves a life. He agreed. I told him those puppies deserve one too, he agreed. And then I left. Kindness...its infectious. ...