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“The food garden enables me to give something back to my family and my community”

Personal story of Nokuphumla Sipayise who benefits from the food garden

01.12.2014 |




Nokuphumla Sipayise

WECF and the South African organisations Soil for Life and Urban Harvest implement food gardens in poor communities in South Africa and train low income women to become gardeners. The gardens are realised under the EWA project and provide women with education, healthy food and with an income from selling the surplus of food. Nokuphumla Sipayise (38) is one of the women who benefit from these gardens and tells how it improved her life.

“I am a mother of six children and I used to work as a volunteer. Every day I prepared meals for school children, but I earned no income until I was invited to learn from and champion the Vegetable Garden at the Lwandle Primary School.

So now I have a real job and I receive an income from the department of education. I also receive money through the sale of excess produce. For the first time, I can afford to buy clothes and books for my children, pay school fees and get essential things for our home.

I am also able to feed my family with freshly harvested food every day! In addition the produce I care for is needed to feed the hundreds of learners and this gives me such a good feeling.

I have learnt a lot about gardening. I have developed skills in planting, composting, pruning, mulching, harvesting and transplanting. I now know how to grow seedlings from seed, how to make my own fertilizers, manage pests, and many other things.
Even if I would lose my job again, I know I now can survive on my own.

I am so thankful that the project gave me the opportunity to learn and work in the garden. And to enable me to give something back to my family and the community! This has really improved my life.”

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