Ezweni School Food Support
Walthers Destination Business Solutions – euromic South Africa
The Team at Walthers has, since 2005, enjoyed a close relationship with Ezweni School located in Lilydale close to the Kruger National Park. Together with support from several clients, Walthers has facilitated the building of six additional classrooms, a computer centre and water storage tanks. Pit latrines have been replaced by 16 “Enviroloo” waterless toilets ensuring sanitation for over 500 primary school students.
Ezweni is a successful rural school receiving no government support, due to its stance on teaching in English as the best way to prepare the children for their future careers.
An approach from the teachers to assist with 14 orphaned children attending the school identified food security as their primary need. This especially during weekends and holidays when these children are not at school. Walthers agreed to fund the food requirements for the orphans, however access to fresh produce in an environment where it seldom rains for half of the year was limited. The solution was to create a vegetable garden located on the school property.
Walthers partnered with “Reel Gardening” an award-winning sustainable concept that incorporates vegetable seeds with organic nutrients in a compostable tape form that takes the guess work out of seed planting. The concept saves up to 80% on water and prevents birds and pests from eating the seeds before they become viable plants. This project covers the first four UN Sustainable Development Goals as it addresses Poverty, Hunger, Good Health and Education.
More than a dozen schoolchildren volunteered and received training in planting, fertilizing, watering and harvesting techniques and became enthusiastic gardeners. The results, as can been seen in the pictures, are fantastic and the Ezweni School vegetable garden is thriving. The orphans enjoy fresh vegetables and have sufficient to support their food security on weekends and holidays with any surplus sold to the local community.
Although seeds are gathered from some vegetables for replanting, a few do require new seeds and so each year the Walthers Team delivers a “Garden in a Box” top up pack containing the required seeds and a few new vegetable varieties for the schoolchildren to try out.