A group of strangers' aim to deal with health issues has turned into an organisation which feeds 100 children on a daily basis
A group of women who met when they became members of a support group that aims to deal with issues of health, HIV/Aids and social matters are feeding their community – literally.
The women started the Bomme Ke Nako food garden project, situated 55km outside Kuruman, in a village called Vergenoeg, which has since become a growing project helping to feed almost all the needy in the local community.
This project, which was funded by one of the mines, has been fenced and was supplied with water by local tanks. However the tanks have since dried up and now the gardeners have to transport water for their crops, from a source about 2km away.
The Northern Cape Department of Agriculture has encouraged communities to establish food gardens to promote healthy eating and to reduce the burden on local people who have to buy produce from supermarkets.
Despite challenges of water and funding, the Bomme Ke Nako team won several prizes at the local entrepreneur awards held in Kimberley recently. It’s an annual event aimed at empowering women in entrepreneurial efforts.
The Bomme Ke Nako vegetable garden currently feeds about 500 families in the local area and neighbouring communities. The Department of Agriculture has helped the women by offering them skills development programmes on how to sustain a vegetable garden project.
Every day after school, about 100 children from the community visit the centre where the women help them with their homework and also give them a meal prepared with fresh vegetables.
During her presentation at a recent Aids Council meeting, one of the women, Magdeline Lekgetho, shared the story of her love for gardening and the good it has achieved. She also encouraged young women to start their own co-operatives.
“Due to one garden we will never go hungry,” said Lekgetho.
Bomme Ke Nako also works in partnership with local clinics, who give vegetables to needy patients. “We refer some of our beneficiaries to the local clinics if necessary and those on chronic medication are also supplied with vegetables,” said Lekgetho.
Children who visited the centre during their school holidays said they were thankful for the job done by the gardening project as sometimes the meal they got from the centre was their only meal for the day.
“With the money we get as profit from what we sell to shops, we are able to buy uniforms for the needy children as well as learning materials,” Lekgetho said. – Health-e News