World Food Day is a day dedicated to action against hunger and is recognised globally, every year on the 16th of October.
This year we celebrated just a day after the official date on Monday 17 October, by teaching young children from JAM SA supported Impumelelo Educare Centre how to grow their own vegetables. The main objective of this was to not only educate the children on how to secure their source of nutrition, but also to teach them skills in agricultural development in an effort to promote sustainable transformation. Martyn Foot, Operations Manager (JAM SA) said “The younger we teach children about the worth and usefulness of planting their own vegetables to feed themselves, the better”.
The planting took place at JAM SA supported Pushi Passion Unit across the road from the center. Co-founded by Thokozani Nhlapo, the unit boasts 22 hectares of land with vegetables such as spinach, carrots, onions, cabbage and tomatoes growing daily. These vegetables are not only used for home consumption by the elderly and disabled community members that work at the center, but they are also sold to generate an income. Thokozani expressed gratitude about JAM’s efforts to educate children about the basics of growing their own vegetables. He said, “children must know about food planting, they must not just eat vegetables, they must know where they come from”. He has decided to take this a step further by committing to conduct planting sessions in the mornings, where he’ll continue educating children from other Early Childhood Development (ECD) centers from surrounding areas.
Impumelelo Educare Centre Principal, Marjorie Xoseka spoke highly of Thokozani and the fruitful relationship Impumelelo has with Pushi Passion. “We help each other as neighbors, and he also helps look after the food garden in the school as he is more skilled. She explained that she was not interested in food gardens, but with help from JAM and Thokozani, her garden is flourishing.
Just when everyone thought the day was over, Martyn made an announcement about food parcels containing nutritious food items that will be donated to children in need as well as elders identified by Marjorie and Thulani.
We are thankful to Different.Org, Department of Agriculture, Heavens Way and Siyakhula Co-operation for their presence and support, and to Women of Courage whose representative Brenda Johnson presented Martyn with a Certificate of Appreciation for participating in their programmes by providing seedlings to their schools and crèches.