Joanne and Brittany Young drilled a borehole at Beretta Primary School in Acornhoek, South Africa in 2006. With the addition of clean drinking water, Beretta Primary School was able to effectively teach their students each day while improving the health of their students and creating a thriving vegetable garden. Beretta Primary School now has over 1,000 students enrolled and offers their students several different clubs and has successful dance, chorus, and sports teams.
Under the guidance of our Permaculture Manager/Former Beretta Primary School Principal, Leanette Sithole, children are provided with hands-on experience growing lush organic gardens with dozen of varieties of fruits and vegetables and herbs, all growing amidst a sprinkling of beautiful flowers used for the dual purpose of making herbal medicines and providing a deterrent for crop munching insects.
The cabbages, beets, bell peppers, butternut squashes, tomatoes, beans, mangoes, strawberries, and so much more are all used as healthy supplements to the children’s government sponsored school lunches. Food parcels are also distributed to nearby orphan families.
Excess crops are sold to neighborhood residents with the proceeds used to buy seedlings needed to continue the garden’s momentum. The flourishing success of Beretta Primary School’s garden provides a tangible reminder of the vital importance of water. Along with their lessons in the garden, Beretta children also make use of books and computers in the A Spring of Hope sponsored library.
As one of South Africa’s poorest regions, Limpopo Province is notorious for poor student literacy and academic performance. In shining contrast Beretta Primary School’s effectiveness as a training ground for student success can be an impressive 95% pass rate.
Beretta Primary School is our flagship partner school, and serves as a model for all of our partner schools. New programs are first introduced at Beretta to help us ensure that the programs are successful and address students’ and our schools’ needs.