This is a woman – lead initiative. In 2012 Boikanyo the Dion Herson Foundation 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 which has turned out to be an overwhelming success.
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.
This garden has also been an entry point for us to develop skills and implement other social programs.
The volunteers who run this garden have gone from strength to strength, their physical health improved, and they are entrepreneurs in their own right.
Since 2017 the garden has been self sustainable, no more stipends are paid, and to the volunteer gardeners run the project completely.
Our gardeners are part of Izindaba Zokudla – a University of Johannesburg program which brings all the farmers in Soweto together. Food and Trees for Africa have stepped in to mentor the gardeners. This intervention has really done much to improve the harvests.
Vegetables are very reasonably priced.
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 collaboration 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.
To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.
The Angel Network SA, this wheelchair that landed up going to the autistic child from Limpopo, was actually the same wheelchair you gave to me to distribute late last year. The child who received the chair was tortured - bitten all over, beaten with a cable, and then landed up needing brain surgery to drain a bleed on his brain from falling out of bed(?). All this happened at a place for children with disabities that mom carefully chose and paid a fortune for him to be cared for. She called 3 times a week to check up on him too, and found him near death when she fetched him for a weekend at home. At least he now has a wheelchair, he is much easier to transport. Thank u special people. ...
Boikanyo's Noah Project 2020 has been launched at Glenridge Primary School. Citibank has given us sponsorship for grades 4 and 5 children to learn experiential every Wednesday for the year, courtesy of Singapore Maths South Africa. Family Life Centre will be running parenting courses/lectures for teachers, caregivers and parents. Bullying, abuse, etc will be discussed. The principal of Glenridge is phenomenal, we have known her dedication for years and are so happy to work with Nomahlubi Xaba again. The first 50 children who bring R100 to school tomorrow will be eligible for transport to and from Boys and Girls Club of Protea Glen. Here they will have supervised homework, lunch, sport, music, and a host of other opportunities. For those children who live in rough neighbourhoods, this opportunity to spend afternoons safe and so productively, is GOLDEN. Here's to 2020, to many children learning and journing with us through maths. We want successes, we are so tired of hearing hopelessness and despair, and that fewer students are doing maths for matric. ...
2020 Has begun, a very busy year it will prove to be. If we ever believed in the difference that a bit of intervention can make, well the maths and life skills program that we ran last year with an impoverished high school gave us faith. So much of it. This year Citibank have sponsored a massive maths program which will run for for the whole year, grade 4 and 5 learners at Glenridge Primary School will participate every Wednesday afternoon. We will again have a life skills program associated with it, run by the Soweto Family Life Centre, with education for caregivers and parents about abuse, self esteem, bullying etc. We want to target parents and caregivers, so that more children will be impacted. Children will be fed sandwiches and fruit before beginning the afternoon session. We learned a lot from last years program, this year we have perfected it. Singapore Maths South Africa will once again run this program, it will be experiential again, but this time they will use the Cambridge Maths System. This way if a child who doesnt have an SA birth certificate shows promise, he can still achieve, finishing school with the UK education system. Once again it will be fully monitored and evaluated. We have begun planning in earnest, children will be doing baseline assessments next week to see what level of maths they can manage. ...
This weekend marks the unofficial beginning of the summer holidays here, all I can say is thank heavens. I have been a guest in the squatter camps now for the last 7 years and have seen just about all there is to see. But honestly, the poverty now is unbelievable. People resorting to all sorts of measures just to feed their families. When you live on a higher socioeconomic level, you do without something when times are bad. What should people who live in survival mode and who literally starve do? And then there are the animals. As cowardly as I feel it is, I am taking a break from this for a while, I cannot manage any more. Here's my usual end of year wish directed at the little ones out there in the squatter areas and hostels: May all my babies be looked after and protected this holiday. May the end of year festivities not mean that your lives are changed forever,. Be safe out there, may you find food somewhere, you are not at school where they feed you. To the animals out there: dogs, cats and horses, may people be kinder to you than this world has been to them. Water. Its so hot. ...
Done and dusted. One incredible maths/life skills project completed so successfully. We ran the Noah project this entire year, Singapore Maths South Africa taking grade 8 children at a very impoverished high school in Soweto back to grade 4 maths (this is where they were benchmarked to be).There was an associated life skills program which Family Life Centre Famsa ran under the leadership of Joshna. The children all received E'Pap before starting lessons. It was the most difficult program I have ever run, I have never had so many problems to deal with. The results at the very end are incredible, an overwhelming success but in the most surprising way. The children who stayed and benefitted were the children who came from the most unfortunate and tragic circumstances. They were the most disadvantaged of the entire grade: torn clothes, broken school bags and broken school shoes that had been passed down from generation to generation. Yet this group never gave up on themselves!! There is a teacher at each school who is assigned children like this, that teacher tries to secure donations so that they have some dignity. She told me that all they can do for the group who came so religiously to our extra maths program is love them. Not much else, and yet look, they didn't give up. In some instances they paid for transport to and from the school on a Saturday morning. It is now my honour and privilege to showcase this labour of love.... ...