Help Rural Children Grow Their Own Food

 
$28,502 $0
Raised Remaining

Thanks to you, this project is now fully funded. We're working on all sorts of fun projects in our gardens - planting seeds & watching them grow, watering our veggies, and even learning how to make compost! Our 68 chickens are laying eggs for us to use in our Feeding Programme and for community members to purchase. Our ten pigs are growing rapidly and escape from their pen on almost a daily basis, despite our best efforts to keep them contained. We think they're just feeling a bit left out of all the fun & games ;) Our vegetable gardens are looking fantastic! We've got spinach, cabbage, and peppers, and are planning to add more to our garden at our Community Centre soon.

Your generous contributions will enable over 400 children in Grades R-11 to learn how to garden - a vital skill for children in area that suffers from entrenched poverty and high rates of malnutrition. For that, we thank you wholeheartedly.

With gratitude,

 

Thanda

Our new friends
Our new friends
Have you heard about the most recent additions to our Community Centre? Thanks to your support, we've now got pigs! Funds from this project helped us to purchase 6 pigs that recently gave birth to 7 piglets with more on the way. The piglets will live in our newly built piggery at our Community Centre and, once they've matured, be sold to local farmers as part of an income-generating project for our educational and agricultural programmes. 
 
Every day, children in our ECD Programme walk down to our pig pen to count the piglets, talk about what colors they see, and what noises pigs make. Our Grades R-7 learners interact with the pigs and start to develop an appreciation for the environment, while our high school learners focus on the tactical and strategic side of starting a piggery business.
 
These learning opportunities would not have been possible without you! Thank you for your continued support with this project. 
Piglets in our brand new piggery
Piglets in our brand new piggery
Counting the pigs!
Counting the pigs!
Working in the garden
Working in the garden

The Nqolobane Garden is a 25m x 15m plot of land that is situated next to Nqolobane High in a valley surrounded by rolling hills and sugarcane fields as far as the eye can see. It is a place where learners in our After-school Programme come to learn, have fun and get their hands dirty (quite literally).

Last year, our Agriculture Director worked with a group of twenty-eight Grade 10 students to teach them a variety of organic gardening skills such as how to prepare soil, the value of crop rotation, and how to grown their own seedlings. The time they spent in the garden learning practical skills through our After-school Programme bolstered the theory they were learning in the classroom through Nqolobane High, and their efforts in both would be graded. 

To spice things up a bit, students were split into teams of four and each group was assigned one plot of land within the Nqolobane Garden. Each team grew the same crops - potatoes, beetroot, and carrots - and at the end of the school year, the group with the most successful plot of land received the highest marks for the project. Although all the teams did well, there was one clear winner...may we present to you the 2014 Nqolobane Gardening Champions!

Cricket break!
Cricket break!
Relishing in the fruits of our labour...
Relishing in the fruits of our labour...
Don
Don't drop that tire!
The winning team!
The winning team!
Nosihle
Nosihle

Meet Nosihle...

Nosihle Chagwe is in Grade 2 at Sosukwane Primary School - one of a few schools in our Programme that has a classroom garden set up right outside of their classrooms. Nosihle's been learning about Agriculture with our facilitators and is excited to see the garden grow. We had the pleasure of spending a few minutes with Nosihle so she could tell us what she's been learning:
  • I learned about the importance of keeping our enviroment clean and taking care of the garden.
  • I enjoy learning about different vegetables that I did not know about before.
  • I like growing vegetables because you don't have to buy all the time and you can sell.
Nosihle is one of many students at Thanda who loves learning about Agriculture and playing in the garden. Each year, Thanda facilitators teach 1400 school children the importance of eating a balanced diet and growing their own vegetables. By setting up gardens and irrigation systems at local schools, we are helping to instill these values at a young age and laying a foundation on which we can build a healthier, more self-reliant way forward for the community.

Links:

Playing with Tires
Playing with Tires

We want to say a big thank you to all our dedicated donors who supported the matching campaign in June- we raised over $7000 in 1 hour! This is vital funding that enables us to continue teaching Agriculture programs to children in Thanda until the end of the year. 

We've been busy lately setting up more gardens at the 4 different primary schools where we operate. This way, teaching is practical rather than just theoretical and everyone has a chance to put their hands into the soil to plant their own seeds. We all know that children learn best through 'doing' and it has been a lot of fun too! We built a Worm Farm from old buckets and used broken bike frames to hold up tomatoe plants. The veggies that the children grow are shared by the group, making everyone very proud of what they have achieved. In a place just a few years ago agriculture was 'for old people', children and youth are now more and more enthusiastic about what they can grow themselves to feed their families. 

These photos are from a garden set up at Sosukwane Primary. Thands fixed their broken borehole, so now children play as they pump water to put on their plants. The land was on a slope and budgets were low, so Thanda brought in over 1000 old tires and children and Thanda's teachers had fun filling them with dirt and building a wall. They also have a chicken tractor from Thanda, making collecting the eggs one of their favourite activities! Thank you for your generous support to this exciting and important project. 

The finished wall
The finished wall
Tyler collects 1000 used tires for the school!
Tyler collects 1000 used tires for the school!
Playing
Playing
School teachers help too
School teachers help too
Watering
Watering
Watering
Watering
Being silly
Being silly

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Funded

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

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Organization

Even Ground

Buffalo Grove, Illinois, United States
http://www.evenground.org

Project Leader

Angela Larkan

Founder and Executive Director
Hibberdene, South Africa

Where is this project located?

Map of Help Rural Children Grow Their Own Food