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Woolworths and FTFAs evolving EduPlant model has a finger on the pulse of sustainable adaption

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Now in its second decade, the EduPlant programme, a flagship Food & Trees for Africa initiative, implemented in partnership with the Woolworths Trust for the last 12 years, has supported the development of sustainable food gardens. This natural farming and greening helps schools and their surrounding communities to create abundant gardens with year-round harvests using permaculture practices.

As a model of good practise, long term initiatives are inspired and compelled to evolve, ensuring their relevance and validity in a changing world.

EduPlant now addresses, more qualitatively, a systematic approach to school food garden training. The vast number of schools who have previously been supported are primed for more intensive preparation and food garden development. It is hoped that through the development of the latest adaptive programme design, as well as the edited version of the Growing Green book, the EduPlant food garden links will become ever more apparent. New indicators addressing nutrition rates and actual food garden creation will be recorded in production sheets.

A stronger relationship with the Department of Education and other stakeholders (NSNP) will ensure consistency in the participation of the cluster workshops as well as the under resourced districts being sustained, respectively. This overlay addresses those schools in real need of food security assistance.

The 2015/2016 cycle for the EduPlant Programme aimed to reach 5 500 learners & educators and 2 250 schools through the workshops. A total of 5711 participants and 2817 schools were reached during the 90 One-Day workshops in 2015 and 2016.

According to Robyn Hills, Food Garden Manager at FTFA “56% of participants or community members replicate the techniques learnt in EduPlant food gardens at their homes or other projects. The total number of replicated activities, as a result of the 2015/16 cycle, therefor sits on 269, as 482 schools partook in the Cluster Programme. The gardens that are created and supported through this programme produce healthy nutritious food and educate children and adults alike about the environment, health and food production. This is at the foremost of everything we do and why we are together in this project, and indeed on this planet."

FTFA thanks Woolworths and The Woolworths Trust for their unwavering support, contributions and advice for the team at FTFA. “The EduPlant Programme is what it is due to the last 12 years of partnership which has allowed much in the way of developing the workshops, content and implementation to ensure that the changing needs of South African youths are met, nourished and nurtured.” concluded Robyn
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