Peace garden to bear food

2016-03-15 06:00
Ricardo van Niekerk (centre) of the Factreton Community Development Organisation with some residents as they start preparations for a peace garden in Acre Road in Facreton.

Ricardo van Niekerk (centre) of the Factreton Community Development Organisation with some residents as they start preparations for a peace garden in Acre Road in Facreton.

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The Factreton Community Development Organisation (Facdo) is on a mission to plant peace in its neighbourhood.

On Friday they started the process of transforming an area in Acre Road into a peace garden.

They want people to join them in their efforts to show that a community that works together can make a difference to safety for all.

Ricardo van Niekerk of Facdo say he is motivated after participating in a training programme in the area last year.

“I was part of a group of 25 residents in and around Kensington who embarked on a journey of inner peace and peace training in our area,” he says.

“The training was facilitated by Prof Brian Williams and we learnt that through small beginnings bigger things can happen.

“This peace garden will be a sustainable community food garden for our ongoing soup kitchen at the Kensington and Maitland day hospitals and at WD Hendricks Primary School as well as the five informal settlements in our area and a weekly feeding scheme in Factreton.”

Van Niekerk feels the project will go a long way to create awareness of tolerance, understanding and better communication.

“People must feel that by working together on a project like this we can create harmony and unity, but there’s also awareness around hunger, malnutrition and poverty,” he says.

“According to Statistics SA 5% of South Africans are undernourished and food has become more expensive since 2008.

“For a family of four the most affordable healthy eating plan will cost more than R3000 per month and with the high unemployment rate can you just imagine what our residents are eating?

“Facdo believes that sustainable economic benefits can be derived from this venture.”

He also wants to get youth, unemployed and all interested residents involved.

“They should look at the examples set by people like Geraldine Morris, a grandmother, and Shanelle Fontini, a mother of four, who got stuck in helping to clear the area last week.

“We also need projects like this to get our youth away from drugs, gangsterism and off the streets and empower them with skills, self-reliance and discipline.”

While the project will be getting some assistance from the City of Cape Town’s community garden project, they need more help and sponsorships.

“We still need some gardening equipment, plants, seeds, and most importantly, assistance with regards to starting and maintaining a garden,” says Van Niekerk.

V For more information contact Van Niekerk on 060 325 8698 or facdo7405@gmail.com.

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