SCHOOLS CAN WIN THOUSANDS BY GARDENING South Africa
EduPlant is a permaculture food gardening and greening programme teaching schools how to cultivate their own food in an ecologically sustainable manner. Through permaculture techniques, communities are recognising the value of recycling waste, creating their own organic compost and employing biological agents in place of harmful pesticides and fertilisers.
“The programme has provided improved nutrition for thousands of learners across the country, enabling them to perform better at their studies and generate an income source for unemployed parents through the sale of additional produce,” says Lauren Howard, spokesperson for Eduplant.
The programme has been operating for the past 19 years across South Africa. This year the programme is funded by Absa, Engen and the Woolworths Trust who committed R12 million rand to EduPlant over three years since 2009.
According to Statistics South Africa (research dated 2003 – 2009), over 3 million children in South Africa go to school hungry each day.
“By teaching learners, educators and the surrounding communities to sustainably grow their own produce, the EduPlant programme aims to alleviate food shortages in indigent communities.”
About 500 schools are expected to take part in the competition this year, with 60 schools representing all nine provinces chosen to participate in the finals in October. Each finalist school receives
R1 500 and is invited to the awards gala held in. There are 21 cash prizes ranging from R5 000 to R25 000, which could contribute towards additional educational and gardening resources for the winning schools. Schools also stand a chance to win a two week permacultrue design course for their project leaders.
Entries to the EduPlant competition close on 28 May 2012 and the 60 finalists are announced on 1 September 2012.
The benefits of participating in the annual EduPlant programme are significant, as schools become hubs of environmental awareness, sustainable learning and nutritional knowledge.
Some schools gain income from the production and sale of fruit and vegetables and involve unemployed parents and neighbours in the gardening effort.
"You can fix all the world's problems in a garden. .Most people don't know that" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sohI6vnWZmk
Music can solve all the world's problems. Not many people know that- MA 2005
"Politicians will never solve 'The Problem' because they don't realise that they are the problem" R Parsons 2001