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South Africa Archives - The African Impact Foundation

Farmers of the Future, Greater Kruger

By Empowering Communities
Developing skills for unemployed youth through using community gardens for subsistence and for an opportunity to develop important life, agricultural and business skills for small business opportunities.
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Our initial goal is to help these unemployed young people to sustain themselves and their families through growing vegetables to supplement their diet for self sufficiency through our Farmers of the Future project in Greater Kruger. Once this is achieved we will educate the young people to build their skills for income generation.

We are currently working in partnership with Maputha Ditshaba High School who have offered us a piece of land that we will create a community garden to help local community members sustain themselves and their families and increase income generation. Initially high school graduates will have the opportunity to learn new skills and a sustainable way of feeding themselves and their families. It will be a self-sustaining model where the youth will receive equipment and training in the garden to be able to produce vegetables for their own sustenance as well as producing seedling boxes for others. As a second phase we will provide training in basic business skills to assist with future income generation and further education.

Short Term Impact: The high school graduates will be able to provide nutritious vegetables for themselves and their families as well as learning food gardening skills.

Long Term Impact: The young people from the Farmers of the Future project in Greater Kruger will create seedling boxes and vegetables to sell for income generation and so they can start their own garden at home. These youths will be using seedlings to start their own garden at home or continue into commercial farming to maximize income generation and partner with local businesses.

Bushbuckridge Local Municipality is one of the five constituents of Ehlanzeni District Municipality in Mpumalanga. Basic services such as running water, sanitation and health care are all under developed in this rural area. The area suffers severe unemployment, poverty, high rates of HIV/AIDS and a lack of basic education.

Many of the local residents live with family or extended family in basic housing due to the levels of poverty in the area, and the level of education is low with many of the population aged 20 years and above having no formal schooling. Although rates of Primary School attendance are improving, further and higher education in the area remains a challenge. This, in turn, increases the high unemployment rate, which currently sits at over 50%.

  • 2017: We started phase 1 of the project where we were able to secure permission for the use of the land from the Maputha Ditshaba High School and land has seen the developments of 87 garden beds. Having planted 1615 seedlings of cabbage, beetroot, spring onion, chillies, spinach, tomatoes and green pepper, we have been able to provide 1066 full meals for 6 participants and their families with a nutrition content of 197kg.

With the drought in South Africa, the team became innovative and have put in place an watering system with 2L plastic bottles. By planting them upside down in the soil, we won’t lose water through evaporation and because the water goes deeper in the soil the plants will grow deeper and stronger roots. The gardeners and the volunteers are already collecting them and we have already planted 15 of them. Adding to that, we put in place mulching. The idea is to cover the soil with a layer of hay/dry grass in order to retain the water in the soil and to keep it protected.

We have completed compost bins and to get some aromatic herbs to fight against some pests.

  •  2018: We started Phase 2 of the project with a local successful farmer who has allotted us with 5 hectares of his land to be cultivated by the Farmers of the Future participants for their own development. Funds were spent to support the four farmers, on the purchase of stationery items used in the workshops held to support the young farmers, ploughing of the land by the Department of Agriculture, water sources for the land, and the provision of seedlings and gardening equipment.
  • 2019: The goal is to increase the number of farmers attending the programme and to expand each phase, including the last phase which includes the business development.

Health and Nutrition, Cape Town

By Health & Nutrition
Providing 86 local children from a disadvantaged community of Redhill with two nutritious meals per day, as well as monitoring the BMI of the children and providing nutrition training to the caregivers. 
Red Hill is an informal community which regularly faces the challenge of inadequate access to basic utilities such as water, sanitation, electricity and health care. This is partly due to the remote and inaccessible location of Red Hill. High rates of unemployment and underemployment within the community means that many families continue to live well below the bread line. This often results in families struggling to meet the daily necessities of life.

The low standard of living in the community limits the ability for families and schools in Red Hill to provide children with the nutrients required for healthy development. Without a balanced diet, children are unable to fend off disease and illness or reach their full potential developmentally.

Red Hill Preschool and Children of Hope Educare aim to help the children and community by providing food daily for the children in their care. Unfortunately, these two facilities struggle financially and need support to continue feeding their students.

The Health and Nutrition Program aims to provide a dynamic approach to addressing the challenges of health and nutrition for two schools in the community of Red Hill. The focal project supports the schools’ feeding programs by supplementing the funds needed to purchase nutritious foods such as fruit, vegetables, vitamin-infused breakfast porridge and rice for the children.

As a part of our commitment to child nutrition, meal plans are cooperatively developed using guidance from the Department of Social Services to ensure that the children’s diets meet national standards for healthy child development.

In partnership with the teachers, African Impact volunteers assess the Body Mass Index (BMI) of each child, over the age of 3 years, every term/quarter to monitor their physical development. Lesson plans and activities relating to good practice for health and nutrition are also incorporated within the annual curriculum to reinforce a healthy lifestyle through education. At school the children learn about the importance of personal hygiene, the relationship between what we eat and health, and exercise has been incorporated into the daily classroom routine. Additionally, every quarter, a nutrition workshop is conducted with all of the teachers to help educate them and increase their knowledge and capability on the importance of health and nutrition in various forms.

Short Term Impact:
Providing each student with a nutritious breakfast, fruit and lunch daily contributes to enhanced learning capacity. This means that not only do the children receive daily sustenance; they will have the energy to play and learn effectively.

Long Term Impact:
Supporting adequate nutrition for healthy child development and sharing knowledge on healthy living will provide children with the tools they need from a young age, to develop into strong, healthy adults.

 Western Cape
Red Hill is an informal settlement made up of non-permanent housing and service structures. The 1 500 residents, who make up a colourful mix of Afrikaans, Xhosa and other African nationalities, do not have access to basic utilities such as water, sanitation, electricity and health care. This is partly due to the remote and inaccessible location of Red Hill. For the past 15 years the community has been demarcated for relocation, however it remains uncertain when or if action will be taken.

We are continuing quarterly nutrition workshops with the teachers, already having completed a session on kitchen safety and proper cleanliness and procedure with children. We are also monitoring the children’s BMI each quarter.

In 2017 46.6% of children can identify 10 letters. Going form 0% to 36% the Hope Educare children can recognise numbers 1-10.

Etshaneni Vegetable Gardens

By News

Project located in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Project focused on Health & Nutrition

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In the communities of Mange and Tshanani, bordering Thanda Game Reserve to the north, many families live in very basic conditions. Often devastated by the effects of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, parents struggle to support their own children, unable to feed, clothe or educate them. A dire lack of services and opportunities in the area makes it extremely difficult for local people to lift themselves out of poverty. As a result, the area has an unemployment rate of 80%.
Nutrition in the area is extremely poor. People rely on very basic foodstuffs such as porridge made from maize meal. There is little variety in their diet, leaving children and adults alike malnourished and in poor health.

The Etshaneni community has been planning to set up a vegetable garden for a number of years. The community has already selected and prepared the land in preparation for the planting of vegetables. However, before the crops can be planted, the land needs to be properly fenced off so that the garden will be secure and to prevent grazing cattle from damaging the crops. Access to a reliable water source is also needed.

The project aims to support a group of 30 women who will tend the garden. The women’s families’ nutrition and health will be greatly improved by the inclusion of vegetables in their diets. The long term aim is for the women to run the vegetable garden as a small business, selling surplus produce to neighbouring communities, crèches, and even local supermarkets. This will not only improve the health of the local communities, but also empower the women.

The Happy Africa Foundation will work in conjunction with the local community committee to properly fence the area and to secure a reliable water source for irrigation. This project will followed three stages:

Stage One:
The first stage will be to fence the area, so that animals cannot damage the crops. Once the area is fenced and gate posts have been built, a security guard will be employed by the community to keep the area secure.

Stage Two:
The next step will be to fix a water pump to the adjoining electrical wire and bore hole so that water can be pumped up to the garden. A generator will also be fitted for when electricity is not available.

Stage Three:
Seeds and seedlings will then need to be sourced, either from the Department of Agriculture or from local agricultural offices. Profit made from selling the vegetables will first be put back into the purchasing of more seeds in order to ensure the sustainability of the project. The women will be trained in how best to manage their crops as well as how to run a small business. This will improve their chances of sustainable commercial success.

Short Term Impact:
This project is community run. The vegetables will provide the local crèche, school and community with fresh produce, thereby improving overall health and nutrition in the area.

Long Term Impact:
Once the garden is well established, the women will have the opportunity to sell their vegetables to local supermarkets. This will empower the women and potentially even create more jobs for others. All profits from produce sales will be put back into the garden to buy more seeds, ensuring the sustainability of the project.

The province of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) in South Eastern South Africa borders the countries of Mozambique, Lesotho and Swaziland. As its name suggests, it is the birthplace of the proud Zulu nation. Still ruled by the Zulu royal family, the rural areas of KZN maintain a very traditional way of life. Sadly, the population of KwaZulu-Natal has been devastated by the effects of poverty and the HIV/AIDS pandemic. A staggering 40.2% of people in the province are estimated to be infected with HIV, and about 10% of these have full-blown AIDS.

The Happy Africa Foundation has two projects in KZN; one in the coastal town of St. Lucia and one in the rural district of Umkhanyakude, in and around Thanda Game Reserve.


According to the District Health Barometer, the Umkhanyakude district is ranked as one of the two most deprived districts in South Africa. This is calculated using a combination of indicators including unemployment rates, access to piped water and electricity, low education levels and female-headed households with high numbers of children.

The district has an unemployment rate of approximately 48%. There is limited access to education, health services and income generation projects. Unlike many areas in South Africa, there are very few NGOs operating in the area.

Thanks to many generous donations, the fencing is done in Etshaneni Vegetable Garden! The fence was erected in February/March of 2014, with the help of THAF staff as well as volunteers from our partners at African Impact. The ladies from the community were planting sugar beans on 70% of the total surface of the garden. It now boasts more than 2.5 hectares of potential vegetable harvesting!
Work is still being done alongside community members and committees to ensure continued and sustainable source of water through a local borehole. The community is very excited, incredibly committed and determined for this project to succeed. For us to support them in this way is wonderful.

The community would like to thank everyone for their continued support on this amazing project!