12 Aug 2020 Winter in South Africa & Summer in the United States: What Have We Been Up To?
Our team has been working hard to ensure families in their community are safe and healthy during their continued lockdown.
A rise in COVID19 cases throughout South Africa has kept most schools shut down and some only serving a few grades. Families are continuing to struggle with food insecurity in Mpumalanga and Limpopo, especially with schools closed. Beretta Primary School is working to keep their community, Acornhoek, healthy and safe by continuing their food program. Beretta serves over 900 students in Acornhoek and they are providing all students in the area with food packages and nutritious fruits and vegetables to take home. Acornhoek has been struggling as a community and these food packages help to keep children healthy and connected to their school during this difficult time.
Thank you to all our donors who have made our Apart Together initiative possible. Leanette, Susan, and Trygive have been working hard in our permaculture gardens, so that we can continue to donate fresh fruits and vegetables along with bulk supplies such as soap, maize, and beans, each week. We have distributed over 740 food parcels since the start of the lockdown in March.
UPDATES: Nduma Primary School
We are excited to announce that we have completed a sanitation project at one of our schools thanks to our partnership with Rand Water Foundation. We drilled a borehole at Nduma Primary School in 2018 and we completed our sanitation project July 2020. The school has 277 students from Grade 1 through 7 and has struggled for years with poor sanitation.
The school relied on pit toilets which were dangerous and unhygienic. Now more than ever, schools need better resources to keep their students healthy and safe. The Rand Water Foundation has worked with us to build two new toilet blocks for Nduma’s students, and install toilets, urinals, and hand-washing basins. We chose to install Enviro Loo toilets as they are waterless toilets which are a sustainable solution to safe and healthy sanitation facilities.
A woman ran company FunAtHole Construction led this project with a local team and the facilities look fantastic!!
OUR VISION & CONTINUED MISSION
We remain dedicated to our mission to partner with rural South African schools to bring them clean water sources, gardens, and sanitation in order to facilitate economic development opportunities. As we grow we look to our vision and long term goal, to combat severe poverty in rural South Africa.
We intend to invest in the development of South Africa’s future leadership so that they can, in turn, address pressing problems in their communities and their country. We are doing this by investing not only in schools but we are also investing in the community. We want to provide opportunities to all members of our community by providing training and education opportunities to those not in school.
Our Permaculture Center will enable us to serve the community in a greater capacity targeting direct needs such as unemployment, lack of job training, and food insecurity. Our community services will include permaculture workshops/training/opportunities, nutrition programs, cooking classes, computer resources and classes, water management courses, youth entrepreneurial programs, and a space for community gathering and collaboration.
With your continued support we are making our vision a reality. Acornhoek is a beautiful community and by supporting those who want to learn and grow their skills, we are confident that we can support community members to become strong leaders, increase food security, and help families and individuals rise out of poverty.
During the nationwide lockdown, our team continues to work hard each day. Leanette, Trygive, and Susan have been working at our Permaculture Center, growing our community garden! Learning more each day, they were able to create a gardening system that allows us to harvest year round!
Leanette has truly mastered succession planting, which is a great permaculture technique for ensuring that our community has fresh fruits and vegetables even through the dry season. Another new technique we are embracing in our community garden is seed banking! Leanette has been experimenting with seed banking so that we can start our own seedlings, and share with others. Leanette and Susan have already collected seeds from lettuce, marigold, and calendula!
Our future goal is to have a Seed Library open to the community so that anyone can start their own home garden from organic seeds!
We are so thankful to all our donors who have supported us in the past and continue to help fund our projects during these very challenging times! With your help, we have impacted over 76,000 lives in rural South Africa and we continue to expand our outreach to support the communities in Mpumalanga and Limpopo, South Africa.
We hope everyone is having a safe and healthy summer and we send you all well wishes.