Nourishing a community

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Food is known to bring people together, but this community garden in K-section, Botshabelo, is doing much more than feeding them. The Kgaugelo Ya Sechaba community garden is a multipurpose project which works in conjunction with Shoprite in hopes of developing community members and fighting poverty and hunger.
Founder, Nyameka Nyanja, says the project currently feeds about 100 families. “It’s a combination of about three generations as it comprises the elderly, the youth and the school children. We feed more than 100 children when they come back from school, serving them with nutritious meals for five days a week. And we help with homework and extra lessons for the children,” she said.
Situated next to the clinic in K-section, the garden also serves as a stop for the elderly who visit after collecting their medication from the clinic as they are advised to take their meds after having eaten.
As part of their sponsorship, Shoprite assisted the community garden project by providing sewing machines, beads and materials to assist with the community’s income-generating projects. It also donated overalls, kitchen equipment, stationery and computers to assist pupils with homework.
“We have two elderly people who are sewing, but we still want to expand that so that we can get younger people who are interested involved. At the moment there isn’t much interest. And we are waiting for people who will be teaching us about beading. This will also help us generate an income,” she said.
Nyanja added that although there has been positive response from the community, some are hesitant to fully support the initiative.
She added this has been made easier with sponsorship from Shoprite, as well as the Department of Social Development, which assists with stipends for the people working at the garden. Nyanya said she is passionate about her community and will continue with the work she is doing as she sees the change it’s bringing.

Seithati Semenokane
seithati@centralmediagroup.co.za