|NEWSLETTER 6 - MARCH 2006|
Six go digging
From the Cape Flats in Cape Town to Pretoria near Johannesburg, Thatu has helped to fund six food gardens. I'm off to South Africa on a personal family visit soon, but I'll be making time to visit these projects! If possible, I will also visit other community initiatives which people have told us are in desperate need. If you are visiting South Africa, please tell us and we'll suggest a few projects for you to visit.
Last September, Thatu helped fund the start of food gardens in five primary schools in the harsh environment of the Cape Flats. We expected two or three not to be in position to proceed immediately because of difficulties in sustaining activities over the long summer holidays, but four of the five succeeded beyond expectations and, with SEED, our partner on the Flats, we are continuing to help fund these four gardens.
The schools are overcoming many obstacles that might bedevil progress: the weather is hot, the soil is poor and often either too dry or flooded, vandalism is endemic and enthusiasm can wane.
school operates in temporary huts because building has been delayed and
even though the final shape of the garden is in doubt, it isn't stopping
planting progress or curbing their commitment.
Thatu has become involved with Lotus Gardens School near Pretoria, a school which has had a long term relationship with St Lukes Church of England Primary School in Kingston, Surrey.
The entrepreneurial head of Lotus Gardens wanted to start a food garden but they lacked funds. So in January Thatu and St Lukes joined up to provide the initial tools, plants, and professional expertise to get started. John Nzira is training the community and school volunteers.
In January, the ground was cleared and a herb, vegetable and fruit garden laid down. The community volunteers are from the poorest families which receive weekly basic food parcels from the school. Within days the previously bare ground had been transformed. More than 1,000 seedlings were planted including cabbage, beetroot, onions, spinach, thyme and aloe vera.
the end of February, helped by copious rain, the first spinach was harvested.
Quite an achievement!
you are going to the Chelsea Flower Show be sure to see John Nzira who
will be there with a garden designed for Garden Africa, another UK NGO
working in South Africa.
start saving your used stamps for Thatu. Any postage stamps will do. We've
found an outlet — we'll tell you more in the next newsletter. Can
you put us in touch with anyone who can introduce us to a business which
might be interested in sponsoring Thatu?
45 Arden Way
07910 332 939
Thatu is a UK
Registered Charity No. 1108655