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First Round of EduPlant workshops - a resounding success!With the urgency for food security, food safety and even food sovereignty becoming more widely recognised, as well as the shortfalls of the Feeding Schemes at schools, more educators are keen to find sustainable solutions to the issue of hungry and malnourished learners.
Despite recent petrol price reductions, South Africans are still experiencing high food costs. No one feels this pinch more seriously than the estimated thirty-five percent of the population, about 15 million people, who are chronically vulnerable to food insecurity.
The EduPlant final event is fast approaching and we once again call for the contribution of useful environmental, health, educational, climate change or other resources (booklets, flyers, posters, leaflets, DVDs etc) for the 220 finalists and the 70 winning schools’ prize packages (290 schools in total). Over the years contributions to much needed school resources have been greatly appreciated, adding value to the prizes and acknowledgement of the schools attending the finals event.
An inspirational alliance between ABSA, Engen and The Woolworths Trust has committed R12 million to help address food security across South African schools.
EduPlant has received a major boost this year as a result of this new corporate partnership. The move by ABSA, Engen and The Woolworths Trust signals a growing awareness by companies to apply long-term social partnerships in order to achieve sustainable outcomes.
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Improved nutrition is also regarded as a vital component for treating people living with HIV/AIDS as it raises their immunity and supports the effective administering of ARV’s. Many home based care and HIV treatment centres are increasingly developing food gardens to support the care of their patients.
Similarly, while education has been flagged
as vital for strengthening economic security for future generations - and the
country as a whole, current financial support by corporate
The EduPlant Legacy
EduPlant’s success over nearly two decades has shown its ability to have holistic impact across health, education, economic stimulus and food security while also addressing more complicated environmental issues such as climate change.
Joanne Rolt, Programme Manager for EduPlant believes EduPlant’s success is attributed to its grassroots approach that targets educators and community leaders to drive the initiative. “This year, our funding partners have enabled us to host 72 permaculture workshops across all nine provinces, reaching 8 000 educators. Thanks to the support of our partners, this is a record attendance year for us.” In the last five years more than 2 500 food gardens have been created as a result of the EduPlant training programme which provides ongoing mentoring and support for all participants. The programme also relies on educators sharing their knowledge and expanding the effects of the programme beyond their schools into their rural communities.
Each year, EduPlant hosts an annual Awards
event where the schools that excelled in implementing the permaculture
gardening principles are rewarded for their efforts. This year attracted a
record number of entries seeing more than 580 schools from across the country
submit their school gardens for consideration. Already 70 schools have been selected
as finalists to attend the final awards to be held from the 28 - 30
The Gala Dinner and Awards Ceremony will be attended by Minister Buyelwa Sonjica of the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry on 30 September 2010.
We all know that children cannot learn on an empty stomach, yet 40 % of school going children in South Africa are still hungry. This is what the EduPlant programme, a partnership of Absa, Engen and The Woolworths Trust, run by Food & Trees for Africa (FTFA), aims to change.
EduPlant, a well established national school food gardening and greening programme that helps schools to grow food sustainably through Permaculture, is adding value to schools and communities across South Africa over the next two years by providing even more workshops and Permaculture training.
Ahead of the United Nations World Food Day (16 October), twenty-one of South Africa’s top food gardening schools have been selected from over 350 national entries as the winners of the 2009 EduPlant competition.