New buildings to grow businesses

2016-06-14 06:00
John Thomas, Asavela Gxakuma and Gerrit Kleynhans in front of the new training centre.        PHOTO: nicole mccain

John Thomas, Asavela Gxakuma and Gerrit Kleynhans in front of the new training centre. PHOTO: nicole mccain

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Growing people through growing plants.

This is the aim of the Living Hope Harvest training initiative, as it moves into its new home at the Capri campus.

The non-profit organisation opened their new training building today (Tuesday), which boasts a classroom and computer centre. The initiative offers agricultural and business training to empower local community members and set them on the path to own their own business, explains Living Hope founder John Thomas.

The training runs over 15 months, where participants are taught the basics of agriculture and business management. They are given the opportunity to mentor other trainees and to ultimately start their own business. The course also incorporates Christian discipleship and trainees attend a daily devotion.

“This training has really impacted our lives,” says trainee Marcelle Holmes. “We come with our daily hardships and struggles and the devotion has made us like a family. It pours blessings into our lives. It’s also extended into our families.”

The new buildings include a barn, where the produce grown by the trainees is cleaned and sorted. There are also shower facilities so that trainees can clean off the dirt and sweat from working with the vegetables before attending classes, Thomas explains.

The fruit and vegetables produced through tunnel farming methods are supplied to local shops, but neighbouring community members can also visit the farm and pick their own produce, Thomas says. This is charged for by weight, allowing small businesses to easily and affordably access fresh produce.

Sales of fresh produce are also open to the general public.

The initiative has resulted in 10 businesses starting to provide this produce to the local community as well as Long Beach Food Lover’s Market and the Pick n Pay in Fish Hoek.

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