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.
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). ...
Tumelo is gone, he left our world last Thursday. A brave soul who accomplished so much in his short life of so much suffering. A non-verbal child with many problems, I discovered him about 4 years ago when his older sister sank into a deep depression which was picked up by an observant teacher. I went to do a home visit with an auxiliary social worker, we were told there was a child with disability at her home as well. On the 4th subsequent visit I finally got to see the disabled child, to my horror he was emaciated, actually nearing the end. Rats had bitten off the tips of some of his toes, and he weighed 13 kg. He was 8 years old, he had no clothes in the middle of winter, and was covered in feces and a dirty towel. All the children in his shack were starving, there was just no food. I rushed him to Chiawelo Clinic and he spent the next 6 months in hospital learning to walk. He was never going to speak, he appeared autistic. When enough government social workers had given up on officially registering him as a South African, they simply dumped him back at home. His grandmother agreed it was time to place him (and the other children in her care), in alternate residential homes as she wasn't coping. Along came Little Eden, they took in little man Tumelo, and they cared and loved him until the end. How lucky was he to get a place at this incredible facility for differently - abled.
The other children in the shack went to Kids Haven, the best childrens home in the world.
Some may agree that Tumelo's journey in this world is over, that's why he is gone. I personally believe this. He was the red flag which alerted me not only to his plight, but that of his siblings too. Because of him, 3 others are at Kids Haven, all with a fighting chance of a decent life.
In the end he took care of all of them.
Bless this little man wherever he has gone. I dont believe he will ever leave his siblings side, this is the only consolation for me. He looked out for them in life, why would things change now that he has shed his body with so many limitations...
Farewell to this huge soul who accomplished more than so many others in such a short lifetime. #bravetumelo @tumelosjourney ...
Gideon's Animal Outreach came with me to Protea South squatter camp yesterday to help pet owners. What a blessing as usual. Together we brought tick and flea medication, collars and leads, deworming medication, bowls, puppy toys, dog cushions and much more in the form of support and advice. We have beautiful people who read these posts and dont hesitate to assist us. What would happen to this new generation of pets in this area, they seem to be young pups, if people like us didnt stop by to help? It's not just about the animals, I work on the premise that if the pets are healthy and not carrying parasites, the children will not pick up parasites from feces that is everywhere. ...