Addressing poverty alleviation

2015-05-07 06:00

Some of the farm employees feeding chickens at the Bishopstowe farm.

PHOTO:supplied Some of the farm employees feeding chickens at the Bishopstowe farm.

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ON a mission to reduce unemployment and inequality, the KwaZulu-Natal Christian Council (KZNCC) adopted a farming project in Bishopstowe in a bid to provide sustainability to underprivileged communities.

KZNCC CEO Dr Douglas Dziva said R2 million has been injected into the project by the Interchurch Development Corporation (ICCO) in partnership with the Norman Hudson Trust and Umgungundlovu District municipality.

Speaking to Echo, Dr Dziva said: “Churches are moving beyond just Sunday prayers. We want to make a contribution towards curbing inequality, unemployment and increase food security. There will be seven farms producing vegetables, pigs and chickens. These farms will operate on a 10-year free-lease programme, and 85 people will be employed.”

Project manager of ICCO Musa Zakwe said the organisation supports non-governmental organisations (NGO) from areas in the sectors of health, HIV and Aids, small-hold farmers and peace-building. “We have decided to support the project seeing that the church is going all out to help people to become self-sufficient through agriculture and capacity-building. We urge businesses to support this initiative, and see what they can do to contribute towards development.

“Congregants will be involved in the project, which also encourages the spirit of voluntarism.”

HIV/Aids co-ordinator for the District Aids Council (DAC) at Umgungundlovu Leslie Sakuneka said the district’s responsibility is to make an enabling environment for all NGO’s within Pietermaritzburg to reduce HIV/Aids through projects. “KZNCC will work hand in hand with DAC in the Bishopstowe farm project and we hope the relationship yields positive results. The project fits well as it will be driven by people living with HIV/Aids. We offer donations to corporates, give them business start-up kits and provide them with capacity-building trainings in self-sustaining projects. Our mandate is to ensure a generation of local employment opportunities,” he said

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