On 27 October 2015, Nedbank Personal Loans in partnership with the City of Johannesburg and the Department of Social Development donated a second veggie tunnel at the Sparrow Combined School. This is an effort to promote agriculture and teaching learners about the importance of food security.
Although South Africa is considered a food secure nation, there remains serious food security challenges. According to an address by Deputy Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development in 2015, one in four people currently suffer from hunger on a regular basis. He further adds that more than half of the population is at risk of going hungry.
The Bill of Rights enshrined in the Constitution states that “every citizen has a right to have access to sufficient food, water and social security”. The veggie tunnels donated to the Sparrow Combined School will go a long way in ensuring that learners facing learning challenges are equipped with the right tools to develop self-sufficiency and thus providing them with the capability to earn a livelihood.
Justine Bolton, who implements caring for communities projects with Nedbank explains, “The projects’ purpose is to promote sustainability across schools, communities while ensuring that children stay in school. The aim is also to foster the spirit of entrepreneurship in these young people.”
According to the Department of Social Development and the City of Johannesburg’s programme coordinator, Zandile Zwane, “It is very important that young people are provided with the critical skills needed to empower themselves.”
The veggie tunnels are used as part of an ongoing project incorporated into the schools’ Adaptive Skills Programme. The garden at the school, where the Kale is grown, is used as a means of raising funds for the school which will go towards subsdising learners’ fees.