Mpumi’s garden initiative helps

2017-08-17 06:05
Mrs Ngoqo with members of a communuty garden project she helped to start.

Mrs Ngoqo with members of a communuty garden project she helped to start.

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August is Women’s Month and its an opportunity to celebrate women’s achievements and the important role that women of all races and religions have played and continue to play in South African society.

Nompumelelo Ngoqo is one such remarkable women whose mission in life is to change people’s lives for the better.

This is a woman who saw the need to equip her community with skills to grow their own food gardens.

Ngoqo, together with late community activist Nosipho Sikutshwa founded Urban Rural Development and Capacity Building Project (URDCBP) in 2000 to alleviate the nutritional status of the extremely poverty stricken communities of the Western Cape.

URDCBP has continued to play a significant role in implementing food gardens without interruption since its inception, expanding and diversifying its services and projects to meet the growing and changing needs of our communities.

They administer and oversee more than 22 food gardens and 2 nutritious food kitchens.

Vacant pieces of land belonging to the municipality, clinics, schools and churches are utilised to cultivate, harvest and sell the produce to improve the overall health of the community.

Ngoqo says: “A secondary impact of the food gardens located in health clinics supports services to HIV positive individuals who often get their only meal of the day from these gardens.” All these services are free of charge.

Trained volunteers conduct broad outreach projects to assist communities at grassroots level to start and manage food gardens and nutritious food kitchens.

Ngoqo added that their services have been expanded to include HIV and AIDS counselling and clinics that manage food gardens as it has been found that HIV positive patients report more frequently and complete their full course of medication because they are assured of nutritious food in their food kitchens.

Urban Rural Development and Capacity Building is recognized locally as a mission focussed and accountable agency.

The food growing project was showcased in the last in-service of Job Creation publication sponsored by Library Business Corners, Big News and the City of Cape Town.

This agency participates in a variety of inter-agency initiatives designed to maximize the potential of the non-profit sector.


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