VISIT TO OUR PARTNER SOIL FOR LIFE
In March one of our Trustees, Rose Long, visited Soil for Life once again. With Cape Town in the middle of a much publicised and potentially devastating drought she learned more about their innovative food gardening methods. The Home Gardeners in the projects are guided and trained to produce amazing crops with little water, but the situation in 2017 and 2018 has demanded even more ingenuity and care.
They managed the situation in the following ways:
Rose heard more about new plans and developments including getting accreditation for the gardeners which improves their employment possibilities; producing a Home Garden manual; widening the range of people involved in the programmes; expanding their Health and Wellbeing programme, and educational programmes for children in order to improve nutrition and reduce the growing problem of obesity.
Altogether an inspiring and informative visit. Thatu is proud that our funds help in a small way with the innovative projects. So much more could be done if more funds can be found.
Soil for Life:
Soil for Life have developed techniques for gardening with little water in the sandy Cape Flats of Capetown . These proven methods are vital this summer 2017/18 as water shortages have reached disaster levels in Capetown due to the lack of winter rains.
https://qz.com/1110143/cape- town-drought-and-water- shortage-in-south-africa-is- now-a-disaste/
Soil for Life run 12 week home gardens courses for 200 people at a time Student Anita of Delft says :
“My proudest day was when I harvested my tomatoes, celery, kale, radishes and many other veggies and herbs. Water restrictions presented a huge challenge on developing and expanding my garden but the methods that Soil for Life taught us improvise by saving water through mulching and using watering cans from old jam tins and plastic bottles. I also improvise by using grey water, which we collect from bath and washing water. I would like to express my utmost gratitude to Soil for Life for bringing such a positive change to me individually and to my community”.
Midland Meander Education Project:
Thatu’s sponsored sustainable food gardens based in primary schools in Howick, KwaZulu-Natal continue to thrive. Midland Meander Education Project run the scheme and are now involving the local communities around the schools - one benefit is to help bring back roaming chickens and goats!
Visiting AI Kajee Primary School the facilitator said ” The original garden that we created 5 years ago, on a terrible clay hardpan, has survived quite well but the garden is looking a little sad and bare from the harsh winter. The Grade 7 boys tackled the swale and another team dug a line around the fence-line of the garden to prepare it for climbing beans. The boys worked hard and we managed to transform the garden in a few hours. It was heavy labour and extremely hot !”
The project teaches permaculture in schools, hosts community workshops and works with local partners like Snake Country on snake and diversity talks.
On possibly the windiest day of the year, Jacob, Marcel & Mustafa, members of the Youth Advisory Panel, and Gloria set off on the challenging slopes of London’s famous Richmond Park. The mud was flying high as they rode down a few treacherous hills on their 10-mile trek but nothing had quite prepared them for the 15-minute stand-off with one of the parks residential coveted deer’s who decided that he owned the cycle path and any rider who dared to pass, better beware! When the huge antlered beast wandered back onto the grass the cyclists increased their speed so that they could still complete the circuit within two hours. The exhilarated team were rewarded with prosecco and cake at the finish line, and as flutes were clinked all agreed it was a most worthwhile event.
We have raised over £400 from this event- if you would like to donate please go to: https://www.mydonate.bt.com/ fundraisers/thatufunride2017
It is not surprising that the visit was oversubscribed. Thank you to Peter and Jack for providing such an interesting and informative morning in a London historic building with its outstanding garden.
Thatu is delighted that the BITC Youth Advisory Panel has confirmed that they will once again attempt the gruelling 10 mile bike ride around the world famous Richmond Park in Surrey, in order to raise much needed funds for Thatu projects in South Africa. Marcel Reid who is the lead organiser of the event said "last year was tough - most of the team had not cycled for the best part of a year and the ride was a real test of stamina and resilience on what must have been the hottest day of the year".
For 2017, there will be a two-pronged approach to raising funds on the bike ride! We are inviting friends and family to sponsor us through our MyDonate page and you can find out more about this here - http://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/thatufunride2017 .
We are also inviting anyone who enjoys cycling and would like to support the cause , to come along and ride with us on the day. All you will need is a suitable road bike (we suggest a mountain bike) and your donation of £5 to participate, for which you will receive a Thatu insignia that will be secured appropriately to your attire making you easily identifiable on the course. It will also ensure you receive well-deserved light refreshments as a thank you from Thatu at the end of the challenge. Meet the team outside the Bike Shed at Richmond Park at 10:30 hours Sunday 1 October 2017.
"What a Sunday. Lots of drama, lots of pain and effort but a great fun day had by all." Gloria
£800 was raised by our wonderful supporters who rode on a hot Sunday in September to raise funds for Thatu.
The cyclists were members of the Business in the Community Youth Advisory Panel (http://race.bitc.org.uk/membership/YAP): Marcel, Valerie, Mustafa, Ozzie, BeAnna and their Manager and one of our Trustees, Gloria and Jan (a neighbour of one of our Trustees).
Thank you from all of us at Thatu!
L to R: Jan, Marcel, Valerie, Mustafa, Ozzie, Gloria and BeAnna
Dee Wakefield, a generous friend to Thatu celebrated her 70th birthday
in style at two lunches and one dinner at the Oxford and Cambridge
Club. She requested that her hundreds of friends not give her a
personal present, but a cheque which she will donate to Thatu and
Medicins sans Frontieres.
In 2016 we will help five hard pushed and overcrowded rural and peri-urban schools to grow food, improve literacy and numeracy, and improve the environment.
The Home Food Gardening programme in the Cape Flats has expanded now to 18 impoverished communities. The 12 month programme results not only in families having much needed nutrition, but also skill development and also employment opportunities for some. In 2016 we are happy to be able to help another 800 home gardens to be developed on small wind swept plots, whilst also providing occasional support to 600 existing home gardeners.
Thatu raises funds to help improve the health, education, nutrition and life-chances of some of the lowest-income communities in South Africa.