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Stories from the Field

You’ll Be So Inspired by This Story of a Community Garden that Is Providing Bountiful Produce in South Africa

By Amanda Whitmyer on August 10, 2023

“This vegetable garden has been the hope for the school.” – Mpho, Lakeside Teacher and Gift Coordinator

We’re celebrating our 25th anniversary by sharing real-life impact in South Africa through Rise Against Hunger Africa’s Early Childhood Development Connect (ECD Connect) Program. The primary focus of the ECD Connect program ensures children between the ages of 0 and 6 have access to quality education and nutritious meals. This program also helps ECDs meet the Department of Basic Education standards and obtain proper registration by improving infrastructure and education resources for children through generated cost savings created by donated meals from Rise Against Hunger.

With the support of local partners and school leaders in Johannesburg, South Africa, Orange Farm Lakeside, a local garden located at Langalibalele Dube Primary School, has seen positive results since participating in the program. This school garden harvests vegetables and provides produce to local ECDs in the community. Students and parents also learned the fundamentals of starting their own gardens to improve access to nutrition, leading to food security and self-sufficiency.

Hear from program participants in this full video here or click one of the images below to learn more about how the ECD Connect program is paving the way toward brighter futures for Langalibalele Dube Primary School students and the community through the nutritious crops harvested at Orange Farm Lakeside.

Doris, Lakeside Garden Supervisor

As the Lakeside Garden Supervisor, Doris helped bring this garden to fruition with the support and training provided by Rise Against Hunger Africa, including the resources needed for harvesting crops in the community garden. Doris explains how fulfilling it is to see the garden’s transformation in the community, including  Langalibalele Dube Primary and the local ECDs it supports, and the benefits of having your own garden. Doris explains, “Everybody should have a garden because it [saves money] then you don’t need to buy things…you can produce yourself.”

Ayanda, Lakeside Principal

Serving as Lakeside Principal, Ayanda has seen firsthand how this community garden has nourished the lives of the school children at Langalibalele Dube Primary and their parents, as they receive vegetables from this garden to provide nutritious meals at home for their families. Ayanda also explains parents and community members who work for the garden receive stipends to help cover the cost of uniforms for their children and to purchase other resources as needed. “When we see you [Rise Against Hunger], you have to understand that we are proud of you because you have made a difference in our community,” Ayanda said.

Mpho, Lakeside Teacher and Gift Coordinator

With a passion for gardening and helping students reach their fullest potential,  Lakeside Teacher and Gift Coordinator Mpho has seen students flourish at Langalibalele Dube Primary because the community garden has guaranteed food at school and home. Mpho shares, “Now learners are not worried about what they’re going to eat when they go home because they get food parcels from the school, from this garden…This vegetable garden has been the hope for the school.” Mpho further explains her hopes for the future, “I want a community where children are learners, and what they can focus on is schoolwork, where they don’t have to worry about hunger.”

Learn more about Rise Against Hunger Africa’s ECD Connect program here and how it paved the way toward brighter futures. We also invite you to consider making a $25 donation to help even more children receive nourishment like this in celebration of Rise Against Hunger’s 25th anniversary. It starts with a meal, and it starts with you!