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.
We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.
There is much excitement in Burgersfort (Limpopo), at The Paige Project, and of course at Boikanyo DHF. Last year the Diller program of King David High School raised money for the restoration of 14 wheelchairs to go to 14 profoundly affected cerebral palsy children in the middle of nowhere who have little chance of ever getting their own wheelchair. Their lifespan is considerably decreased once the contractures and deformities of their condition sets in. They cannot eat properly, one cannot eat if one is twisted and contorted. The buggies will allow them to be positioned as correctly as possible. Each restored chair was collected from different hospitals in Gauteng. The Paige Project hangs on to them until the day that a donation arrives, then they are stripped, cleaned up, and voila - a new buggy is born. So far 7 buggies have been completed, they look brand new. On 6 February we will head out and the children will be fitted into their own set of wheels. Thank you Diller angels, I wonder if those incredible kids who were in grade 11 have the faintest idea of what they have just funded....Ask any mother or grandmother of a cerebral palsy child. ...
This long and difficult year has ended. I stopped posting on FB a month or so ago, I just need to rest my soul, I have seen too much this year. My last post has to go to a dear friend however.... A man who humbles me and offers solace to those without a voice, Gideon Morar of Gideon's Animal Outreach. Together we went to tend to the animals in Protea South squatter camp this week. Together we discovered a pitbul that lived in pain and wasn't afforded medical care at all... Torture essentially. It has taken a good few days for his threats and promises of the dog being removed for euthenasia, as the law requires. Honestly I have never seen him so upset. Yesterday news came that the dog was finally taken to a vet by the owner, and was mercifully put down. So today I post, so grateful that Gids made sure what had to happen did in fact happen. To all of us who give of ourselves to the point of exhaustion and burn out, seeing the unseeable.. next year begins again in January. Best we rest up. ...
So ...I have researched for weeks where to send the next 2 loads of e'Pap. I want it to be sent out the people who undoubtedly suffer unbearable here: foreign nationals. These people are blamed for so much, but for the most part, their only sin is fleeing intolerable circumstances back home. Rose Grealy Kransdorff from the e'Pap Foundation and I from Boikanyo DHF have found it so difficult to bear witness to the deprivation that foreign nationals live in, more specifically those living along the immediate borders of Zim, Lesotho, Mozambique and Swaziland. They arrived with nothing but the clothes on their backs. But how to locate them.....they are not on a map, nor are they known to any one NGO. But one certainty surely has to be that they must be praying for some salvation. The Catholic Church! I approached the church who sent on the request to all sorts of divisions within. Finally, we have a contact who has sourced small parishes who can assist in identifying thousands of these poor souls. So here we go again, the next e'Pap handout goes out to invisible children along our border areas who stand little to no chance of kindness here, despite the desperate conditions.... ...
We first met this young man, Oratile in 2017 . His vision in 1 eye never developed and he is severely short sighted in his other eye. At that time Michelle Pencharz from Peers & Fisher Optometrists toghether with her colleauge Estee Lee provided pro bono assessments, new lenses and frames which served him well. We received a call on 6 Oct 2020 from him to say that someone had broken his glasses. Within a day I had an offer for pro bono work from another friend of our NGO, Heidi Amoils from Optometrist, Randridge Mall. Heidi consulted with Michelle Pencharz to compare scripts and then she retested his eyes, had new lenses and frames made up. By 22 Oct the gift and blessing of sight has been made possible. Heidi also provided him with a referral note to go to St Johns where he can get specialist care. May Oratile continue to enjoy the blessing of sight, may he learn well, go places, reach his greatest potential, vision and dreams. ( consent has been received from his mom to share his picture). ...