Soweto Food Project
The challenge that the project addresses:
The Soweto Food project aims to close gaps in food security and assist the community to improve their own livelihoods by generating their own income and becoming active participants in the overall economy. Poverty, diseases and lack of resources, have left many households disempowered and without sufficient food sustenance. Hunger plays a huge role in inequality, resulting in many children being robbed of the freedom and opportunity to an education and to being active members of society.Many families struggle to provide for themselves; leaving children to drop out of school at an early age. These children come from poor family structures and are involved in drug abuse and other criminal activities. The majority of women in this community are jobless and unskilled and are therefore unable to sustain themselves and their family economically.
What is your project doing to respond to this challenge?:
- Small-scale sheep farming. The project is raising and breeding domestic sheep for primarily their meat and donating it to a local community NGO, Shalom Community Development Foundation (SCDF), that works to feed orphans and children from vulnerable households in Soweto.
- Set up, through SCDF, a food garden at Busisiwe Primary school in order to leverage direct participation from the community and to benefit their nutritional and social environment.
- The food garden provides opportunities for food and income generation and for residents to engage in outdoor physical and social activities.
- Civic engagement, outreaches and mobilization of community members to become income generation volunteers and participate in sustainable development efforts in their capacity.
- Offer capacity building to SCDF on how to mobilize the community in development efforts.
Describe the project's impact:
The small-scale sheep farming is promoting food security as community members gain direct access to a healthy meat product that they can prepare themselves.
- Meat products are expensive and scarce in such communities, the source of protein gained is fundamental for the development of children.
- The establishment of a food garden has brought about sustainable income generation to women who have participated in the project
- Growing your own food allows community members to take charge of their economic wellbeing. The food is consumed and can be resold for profit.
- Providing food to children alleviates hunger and provides children with the opportunity to attend school, focus and do well in their respective grades
- The food garden also promotes community cohesion and has prevented many youngsters from participating in criminal activities.