Our introduction to Unakho Children's home and the Barcelona area in Gugulethu was an emotional one.
We were introduced to the site by another organization called Contribution To Opportunity (CTO) - a capacity builder and sustainability organization that works in the heart of Gugulethu.
CTO has been supporting Unakho for a few months now and has assisted the home with solutions to several needs. CTO also works with a youth group called Amasoja Initiave ("Soldiers" by definition). Amasoja's youth empowerment provides character building, and life skills to youth in Gugulethu to increase their access to opportunity and find a better life, away from drugs, crime and poverty.
In line with their ethos and development, Amasoja has requested to learn about sustainable food gardening methods by implementing a sustainable vegetable garden at Unakho Children's Home, who has a great need for food security. Therefore CTO and Amasoja, reached out to partner with Call 2 Care to implement a sustainable iGardi Project vegetable garden in a large space at the back of Unakho. The aim of the project is to contribute and implement food security to the children's home, while lending some additional skills and knowledge to the Amasoja youth group, to empower them to make a difference in their own lives, and lives around them.
We were welcomed warmly by the loving children who are living at the home. The children have all been abandoned by their parents, and are under the care of Pastor Bonani and his wife, who are providing a loving home for 30 orphaned children. There is very little support for the children, and very little resources for the children as Barcelona is one of the poorest communities in Gugulethu, built on a dumping ground.
The need for a sustainable vegetable gardening is apparent, as they need to feed all the children 3 times a day, and have very little funding to do so. They would also like to use the surplus of the fresh produce to sell in a monthly market where the extra pennies will be used for clothes, items needed in the home, and staple food supplies.
In the time we visited, we managed to have an introduction to the Children's home, meet the Bonani family, specifically Irene and Pastor Julius Bonani who started the children's home. They are truly amazing people with hearts bigger than the home.
We also met the older children who want to learn about vegetable gardening and spoke through the projects vision with Amasodja about their part to play in implementing the iGardi Project Food Security Program, empowered by Call 2 Care.
We also took a look at the space, spoke through what produce was needed for the garden, and started to map out a vision for a beautiful, healthy thriving food garden.
We are so excited about the potential of this site, and what difference it will make to Unakho Children's home. We absolutely fell in love with Unakho, the Bonani family and the children, and love working with CTO and Amasodja, and are so excited about this initiative.
To support this initiative contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
The iGardi Project's implement Self Watering Food Garden Boxes within the Western Cape and host a number of educational programs to ensure that anyone is able grow their own food, increasing food security in vulnerable communities.
Call 2 Care is a Non-Profit Organisation located in Cape Town that improves lives through educational outreach projects and events while offering a sustainable end to end service to corporate, government, and the general public.