Weeding out gangs

2016-10-11 06:00
Three community organisations are working together to create a vegetable garden for and by local youths.  PHOTO: Angelika Kollin

Three community organisations are working together to create a vegetable garden for and by local youths. PHOTO: Angelika Kollin

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The Domestic Animal Rescue Group (Darg) has made a small patch of land available for young urban farmers to use as a vegetable garden.

The project, called the ubuntu at Darg vegetable garden, was launched last Saturday as participants prepared the plot.

The project was made possible by Darg, Thrive and Ubuntu 4 All as a way to build on Darg’s collaborative efforts with other organisations to effect change in Hout Bay.

The vegetable garden will provide an opportunity for skills training and be used to raise funds for the participants.

Ubuntu 4 All creates opportunities to change the lives of children and their families in Imizamo Yethu by providing counselling, social support and personal empowerment strategies.

Ubuntu 4 All has been involved in numerous projects in this community. One of its programmes is called the gang-related intervention and prevention programme (Gripp) and is aimed at youth in Imizamo Yethu.

“The boys and girls participating in this project partly dropped out of school in different stages of their lives, some even in Grade 5 or 6. They are involved in gang activities or are just ‘hanging around’. Some are still at school but they are also involved in gang activities.

“We lost two of our boys in 2015 in one of these terrible gang fights. We believe the garden will keep the youth busy and help the community,” says Sylke Funk of Ubuntu 4 All.

Thrive’s role in the project is to teach the young participants to set up and maintain the garden. Thrive is a non-profit organisation that starts and develops various social, economic and environmentally sustainable practices and projects to unite and benefit all Hout Bay residents, especially the underprivileged community members.

Bronwen Lankers-Byrne of Thrive says they have focused their attention on a schools programme which creates schools which model sustainability with most of its members volunteering or receiving a small stipend.

“With more funding and support, Thrive will expand its activities, building on initiatives already established to provide skills training and jobs in Thrive’s five pillars of sustainability: Waste, local food, water, energy and biodiversity.”

“Thrive encourages every individual to make a difference that will benefit the environment and the community residing in it. Our motto is ‘Throw nothing away and let nobody go to bed hungry’,” Lankers-Byrne says.

Thrive invites residents of Hout Bay to join it on a journey that encourages residents to view waste as a precious resource, grow local food and vegetables, take care of water and biodiversity and find energy solutions that work in harmony with nature.

The Thrive team is teaching the Ubuntu 4 All youth how to make compost, plant seeds, fruit and nut trees, maintain a garden using permaculture principles and how to harvest produce and prepare a healthy meal.
Fresh produce from the garden will be sold at the monthly Darg market and at the Thrive organic market at Valley Farmstall every Saturday from 10:00 to 13:00.
Debra Buys of Darg says they are proud to be part of this project that has the potential to change lives in the community.

Darg is also giving support to get sponsorship for gardening equipment and the fencing needed for the garden. Buys says they are appealing to readers for donations of equipment.

Readers can email Debra Buys at dbuys@intekom.­co.za for the list of gardening equipment needed.

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