A Cape Flats school has launched a R2 million “feeding scheme” that will benefit not only the pupils but their families and the community at large.
Christel House in Ottery recently opened Fresh Crops, a nine hectare farm that employs their pupils’ parents.
The project was started on the first of June this year, employing six women who have been given the skills needed to manage the farm and produce crops.
Six months ago, it was an empty piece of land, but now one can see rows of growing tomatoes, potatoes, spinach and cucumbers.
The food will be used in the school feeding programme, where kids are given five meals a day, and they also take food home to their families.
CEO of Christel House Nicky Sheridan says the farm was made possible with the aid of business partner Tsebo Solutions.
Christel House was started in 2000, after its German founder Christel Dehaan visited SA on a mission to break the cycle of poverty through education.
Pupils attending the kwaai school come from impoverished communities like Langa, Hanover Park, Manenberg and Bridgetown.
In addition to getting fed, the kids also get school uniforms, medical care and a full scholarship from Grade R to Matric.
A proud Maria Buggs, 50, from Freedom Park, who has a 13-year-old son and a granddaughter at Christel House, says she jumped at the opportunity to be part of the project.
“I am proud of myself for what I have done, because I have never had the experience. Through the project I was able to learned how to plant and work on a farm,” she says,
The self-sustaining plot has a 10-tunnel greenhouse, and a dam used to water the crops.
The tunnels house 7 000 plants and the first harvest is expected to produce 54 tons of vegetables.