Our outreach programs are focused at empowering local communities to excellence and the primary drivers of these projects are education, training and assistance, in order to create self-sufficient communities. One of our key campaigns in this respect is food gardens.
"uplifting communities in South Africa..."
African Blessings strives to support communities holistically and has a wide range of projects and educational programs within all areas and aspects of community. Food gardens have been established at various sites within the communities we support, including at Alfonso Orphanage, Mispah Mission, Ubuhle School and in Rethabiseng and Bronkhorstspruit.
Our Foundations for Farming initiative educates individuals and communities on how to cultivate land effectively in order to produce food crops in an environmentally friendly and self-sustainable manner, using items that they have available and efficient farming and land preparation methods.
The farming method is designed to apply to a piece of land the size of a door; and can be scaled up to the space available. Foundations for Farming principles teach people how to measure, be straight and be accurate; as order allows for maximum yield from minimum input. Rows are prepared and resources such as water and compost are only used at the planting station, where they are needed, as opposed to spreading it over the entire area.
The methodology also relies on companion planting. Nasturtiums and marigolds are planted amongst the food crops to keep pests away, tomatoes are planted next to onions, basil next to tomatoes and thyme is planted in between.
We are passionate about food security and knowing first-hand the reward and transformation food gardens bring, we are eager to assist more communities with the establishment and maintenance of food gardens, but funding is a continuous obstacle. Donations of seeds and seedlings are always most welcome. Living, open pollinated seeds are our preference, as this allows the community of the food garden to harvest seeds to use the following year. Vegetables which are typically planted include: cabbage, spinach, green beans, chillies, green peppers, beetroot, onions, tomatoes, broccoli and cauliflower.
Community outreach projects include drives to provide assistance and support to the elderly, old age home assistance, various care homes and orphanages, animal welfare within communities, as well as assistance with clothing, homeware and education. Our annual Season for Seniors initiative sees around 200 senior citizens – the poorest of the poor – receive a Christmas care package, including toiletries and treats. Over the years we have seen that for many of the elderly folk included, these parcels represent the only packaged gift they have ever received!
If you would like to become involved in one of our outreach programs, click here and one of our dedicated staff members will get back to you shortly. Alternatively, please consider a seed or monetary donation to help us continue to grow our community projects and expand our reach.