Diepsloot school shoots green fingers

2011-06-24 13:00

A school in Diepsloot is the latest recipient of a garden project aimed at relieving hunger in underprivileged communities.

The Diepsloot Combined School benefited from the Muhammad Ali Centre Peace Garden at the school yesterday.

In addition to providing the school with food, the project aims to foster multicultural respect and teach learners about nutrition by growing plants from different countries.

“We’ve learned a lot about food from other cultures,” said 12-year-old learner, Lona Kaleni, citing Chinese cabbage as an example.

“I’m very grateful [for the garden]. The kids at school will be healthier than before.”

The project, which was started in America and has branches in Mexico, is a first for Africa.

Learners will be involved in all aspects of garden including planting, nurturing, harvesting and cooking.

The garden will benefit the local community through donations to the hungry as well as educating the community about crop growing, according to teacher Francis Maponyane.

“We can grow do it [grow fruit and vegetables] in our backyards. They don’t always have to buy food.”

In line with Maponyane’s sentiment, learner Phelisa Bacela said she would be encouraging her community to cultivate crops.

“Some are unemployed. They can start businesses selling vegetables and fruit. We hope that we will be an example for other schools in our country,” said headmistress, Veronica Kgabo.

Presently, about 60 Peace Gardens have been established for schools and community organisations in the US and Mexico.

The project is a collaboration of the Muhammad Ali Centre and Yum! Brands Foundation, KFC’s international parent company.

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