In January/February of 2018, Violence Prevention through Urban Upgrading (VPUU) became the first organization to sponsor 4 gardens at Charleston Hill Secondary School. The aim of this initiative was to subsidize the feeding scheme with healthy nutritious produce and use the garden as an educational tool. One such educational tool is a nutrition-wise after school program, iGardi Project, hosted by Call 2 Care. The focus during one particular iGardi workshop was teaching the students how to plan out nutritious meals. The children were challenged to collaborate with the on-site kitchen staff in order to devise the most nutritious meal plan. Read more about the iGardi project here.
Above: The first year's harvest! 40 huge bunches of Swiss chard, three bunches of spinach, several tomatoes, eggplants, peppers and spring onions.
In May of 2019, South Africa's official Perishable Produce Export Control Board (PPECB) sponsored the expansion of Charleston Hill's gardens by 20, for a current total of 24 raised garden beds! These beds have and will continue to make a significant contribution towards supplementing the existing feeding scheme, thus combating overall food insecurity for the students.
Above: PPECB staff, students, and Call 2 Care team building new garden beds.
What does the future hold?
Once school starts up after the holiday, an after-school program will resume to teach students how to sustain and manage the garden beds. This will continue to supply the kitchen with fresh vegetables for the students. Finally, we move on to phase three: building a community garden. The community garden will be located on a large plot of land behind Charleston Hill school and will eventually serve the entire Charleston community.