Needy Mabopane learners will benefit from vegetable garden

The food garden, which supports efforts by the Department of Education’s National Nutrition Programme has enhanced the learning capacity of learners through the provision of healthy and nutritious meals at the school.

Learners at Ditshaba Primary School in Mabopane will receive nutritious food from a vegetable garden recently set up at their school.

And organisers believed the project would encourage the learners to follow good eating and lifestyle habits.

The garden is part of a celebration of the Gauteng department of education’s national school nutrition week as supported by Mercedes-Benz Financial Services (MBFS).

“Ditshaba is one of four beneficiary schools of the MBFS corporate social responsibility programme,” said MBFS CEO, Joerg Essig.

He said the company was proud of the partnership with the school.

“I feel appreciative that I could be part of such a great cause.

The fact that we, as a company are able to provide ongoing support to the communities in which we operate, fuels me with great pride.

By giving a little of your time to make a difference to the life of someone else is a key ingredient to changing the world around you,” said Essig.

In line with the UN Sustainable Development goals, MBFS established a food garden in 2014, and since 2015 partnered with Ekukhanyeni Relief Project for a long-term solution food security at the school.

“The establishment of the garden has contributed to improved school attendance, concentration and the general well-being of the learners,” he said adding the school had been awarded “best garden status” by the department.

He said after establishing the successful Food Gardens, it became apparent that the lack of storage and kitchen to prepare healthy meals for the children at the school had a negative impact on the project.

“It was due to this that MBFS decided to build a kitchen at the school.

Made entirely of used plastic bottles as its framework, a kitchen was built in collaboration with Bottle2Build Schools.

Today it is a functional kitchen, with stoves, fridges and storage equipment to assist the kitchen staff to fill the tummies of the students with nutritious meals.”

Through Ekukhanyeni, MBFS also trained the cooks on nutrition to give the learners the best benefit of the fresh produce.

A poem recited by a grade 10 learner during the handover, emphasised the importance and impact the garden had had on the school and the learners’ well-being.

MBFS also donated 100 pairs of shoes to the neediest learners at the school as part of the Barefoot No More school project.

“To support young girls who are unable to attend school when they have their monthly period, MBFS partnered with Dignity Dreams, and donated beautifully packaged reusable sanitary towel packs to 105 grade four to seven girls,” he said.

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  AUTHOR
David Matsena

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