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Support our Sibanye ("We are One") Garden Project in South Africa
We are a non-profit organization called Where Rainbows Meet, established in January 2008. We believe in holistic community development by achieving social, economic and health improvements within the community of Vrygrond and its surrounding settlements. Our vision is to create a future where every individual can live their life in dignity and security. Moreover, through schemes such as the Sibanye garden project we aim to improve health standards and provide a good standard of living for those within the community, therefore ensuring a bright and sustainable future for Vrygrond and the surrounding area.
・What is Sibanye Garden Project?
The Sibanye Organic Garden Project was established in 2004 from “Soil for Life” in cooperation with City of Cape Town and the help of Totalgaz. Its aim was to capacitate the unemployed groups in underprivileged communities to be sustainable and conscious of their environment while maintaining a healthy diet of 100% organic produce. Between 2004 and 2009 the land was farmed by around 35 women who acquired the skills to garden. During this time period the ground of sand was transferred into a fertile land.
・Problems we are facing
After the 5-year time period of support, City of Cape Town bowed out of the project, in which no reason was given. Since then, we’ve had trouble producing high yields of vegetables, which is in the most part due to the lack of proper tools, poor quality of soil, and pests in the garden. Where Rainbows Meet – Training & Development Foundation have been working hard towards finding solutions. For instance, food tents had been placed in 2012, but a working watering system is still needed to get a better yield. Moreover, a compost bin has been set up to increase the harvest.
The purpose of this fundraiser is to restore the garden to its former levels of production. Although the Sibanye garden currently produces some vegetables, they are not of a good enough quality to be sold to the public. Increasing both the quality and quantity of the yield of our garden will have numerous benefits to the community as a whole. Our hope is to sell our vegetables at a local market. The profit from the sales will be used to buy new seedlings and water pumps for the garden, for example. This will mean that, ideally, future investment in the project will barely be necessary. If profits grow further, they can be reinvested into other projects run by Where Rainbows Meet, further expanding the positive impact the Sibanye project has on the community.
The project will also provide job opportunities for local people. Where Rainbows Meet currently employs five people to work in the garden, but if the output increases, more people will need to be employed in order to maintain it. Members of the community, who would otherwise have been out of work, can fill these jobs, giving them a source of income and something to occupy themselves during the day.
In the longer terms, young people could also be brought in and taught gardening skills. This would not only give them an opportunity to develop a career for themselves and make them self-sufficient, it would also occupy them, keeping them off the streets and away from a life of alcohol and drug abuse, which are prevalent in the Vrygrond area.
・How the funds will make a difference
The funds will be spent on tools, fertilizer, and organic pest control. Right tools are very important in developing the garden. Having a working irrigation system will allow more time on other tasks in the garden instead of having to move our sprinkler head every few minutes. In addition, having the proper tools will help the youth learn how to use them instead of having to visualize what it might be like having a functioning garden.
Getting funds and support for the Sibanye Organic Garden Project will immensely improve leadership opportunity. If we can acquire the knowledge about successful gardening then that information can be passed down to the youth in the community giving them a productive activity and a valuable skill to further their education, and an opportunity for future employment.
For more information about Where Rainbows Meet, visit us here http://www.whererainbowsmeet.com/
- Tomoatsu Deguchi
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