Thank you for your overwhelming support during the Microsoft Youth Spark campaign- we raised over $9000 in under 1 hour! This has enabled us to fund our ‘Care for the Environment’ after-school programs for 310 children, as part of Thanda’s Hands-on Learning Education curriculum. I love watching children at Thanda plant seedlings for the first time- their joy at watering and watching the plants grow each day after-school is wonderful, as they wait expectantly for vegetables to start. The local youth told us a few years ago that agriculture was ‘for old people’, but we clearly see a new culture developing where children and youth show interest in working with the environment to sustain their households and offer better nutrition. In December we visited the home of Philani, who has started a garden that helps support him living alone. He showed such pride in his garden and had developed valuable skills for life through his green peppers and beans!
You also funded the environmental sustainability, rural development, and entrepreneurship after-school programs for 120 high school students in 2014- essential tools for teenagers growing up in a rural community in South Africa. By the end of 2013, 100% of the 60 youth in our high school agriculture programs and 84.6% of the 30 performing arts students had been inspired to start their own vegetable gardens at home. This year, youth will focus on global warming and renewable energy, looking at Thanda’s solar panels as an example. The Computer class has already built a solar panel to power the first light-bulb in the computer lab- we can’t wait to see what they come up with this year!
Near the end of last year, we also created a sustainable duck pond from old tires, built a goat house, grew thousands more organic seedlings, and purchased 40 more egg-laying chickens. Now everyone has a place to sleep and we hope you enjoy these photos of what we’ve done so far on our ‘farm’.
Thank you for being our partner in this project. We are still raising funds for the high school agriculture and active citizenship programs in 2014, so your support is always appreciated as we teach such valuable tools to the next generation.
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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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