Food gardens will be planted at various identified schools, using tunnels, under the Eco-Schools Project. The idea is to grow food to supplement the schools’ feeding schemes.
FEEDING hungry children and creating a conducive learning environment are the objectives behind the Eco-Schools project, an initiative of Region G, Nedbank and Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa.
MMc Ros GreeffPupils should care for their environment, says MMC Roslynn GreeffIt was launched on 11 February at Intlonipho Primary School in Orange Farm.
“The purpose of this project is to preserve the environment and to sustain the culture of growing crops from our own gardens,” said the regional director of Joburg’s Region G, Mlamleli Belot.
The project will benefit 960 children at the school. According to the principal, Ditshwane Mogowe, most of the children come from poor backgrounds and sometimes leave their homes hungry.
As a result, they struggled to concentrate during lessons and tended to perform poorly at school. “We have been engaging parents on ways to deal with this challenge and some of them offered to help in facilitating the feeding scheme programme.”
He explained: “For now, we will continue engaging parents about possible ways to ensure that this project launched in our school is sustainable, so that it can meet our needs.”
The school received two hydroponic tunnels, two solar cookers and one rain harvesting tank. The sponsors also donated money for a borehole to be sunk.
Mogowe said having a borehole in the school yard was a gift that would benefit future generations at the school and the community at large. “Shortage of water in the school yard was one of the major challenges that we faced in the past years. I am glad that our children will no longer struggle.”
Pupils plant vegetables using the Vegitunnel planting systemPupils plant vegetables using the Vegitunnel planting systemThey would work hard towards creating a better learning environment for the children. “We always strive to create a conducive learning environment for our children and we will continue to do so.”
The school was introduced to a Vegitunnel planting system which is a quick way of growing plants inside a protective tunnel. It also has a low-labour work advantage and provides a secure environment for plants to grow.
Belot said: “Food plants grown inside the tunnel can be used to supplement the meals at school as part of the feeding scheme to provide fresh and healthy vegetables to the learners. They could also be given to learners to take home to their families to supplement their meals, or be sold to the community to earn extra income for the school.”
The member of the mayoral committee for development planning and urban management, Roslynn Greeff, said the department would continue investing money in projects like the eco-schools. She encouraged learners and teachers at the school to care for their environment and ensure that the project benefited them.
Greeff said her department would keep on identifying needy schools and the City would provide necessary assistance to keep the project alive. She urged members of the community to help in maintaining the project.
The next Eco-Schools Project will begin at Moyisela Primary School in Orange Farm on Friday, 18 February.
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