Schools roll up their sleeves to help

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - GOODPOSTER - JBJ RE­PORTER

NEL­SON Man­dela fa­mously said ed­u­ca­tion was the most pow­er­ful weapon you can use to change the world.

And last week Thurs­day to mark his birth­day schools paid trib­ute to him by do­ing some­thing spe­cial for oth­ers dur­ing the 67 min­utes for Man­dela Day.

Pupils at Sur­rey Es­tate Pri­mary school got their hands dirty.

In just four hours they trans­formed 140 me­tres of soil squared into a smor­gas­bord of veg­etable seedlings as part of their trib­ute to cel­e­brate Man­dela’s 95th birth­day.

Pupils worked side by side with 20 vol­un­teer hor­ti­cul­tur­ists from nurs­eries to cre­ate the gar­den.

The newly es­tab­lished veg­etable gar­den is part of a sus­tain­able food pro­gramme started by the school’s prin­ci­pal, Im­tiaz Adams.

He was con­cerned about the high per­cent­age of pupils be­tween the ages of 5 and 14 who ar­rived hun­gry ev­ery day.

“We all know you can’t teach a hun­gry child,” he says.

So as part of their com­mit­ment to giv­ing back on Man­dela Day, Western Cape- based nurs­ery group, Stodels Nurs­eries, joined forces with Okuhle Me­dia and Hec­tic Nine-9 to cre­ate a sus­tain­able food gar­den at the school in Athlone.

He says the fresh veg­eta­bles and pro­duce from the gar­den will go a long way to sup­ply­ing the school’s feed­ing scheme and soup kitchen and the lo­cal com­mu­nity will be in­vited to en­joy the veg­gies in re­turn for a lit­tle wa­ter­ing and weed­ing.

The hor­ti­cul­tur­ists helped the pupils to pre­pare the soil, plant the seedlings and put to­gether an an­nual plant­ing plan to en­sure there would be a con­tin­u­ous and sus­tain­able sup­ply of veg­eta­bles such as car­rots, spinach, broc­coli, cab­bage and let­tuce. They also sup­plied the com­post, fer­tiliser, seedlings, plants and ex­per­tise.

“We were thrilled to be part of this pro­ject which uses our core knowl­edge of ‘eat­ing from your gar­den’ to make a dif­fer­ence in the lives of th­ese learn­ers and their fam­i­lies,” said Stodels man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Nick Stodel.

“Sur­rey Es­tate Pri­mary School has, de­spite fi­nan­cial con­straints, con­tin­ued to de­liver good re­sults aca­dem­i­cally, cul­tur­ally and through its sport­ing code,” says Paula Brown, chief ex­ec­u­tive of

SWEET TREATS: West­cott Pri­mary School’s Con­nor Ver­maak, Jodi-Lynn Swartz and Gabi Zier­vo­gel, all in Grade 4, round off the meal with baked sweet treats for the res­i­dents of Mus­gravePark Old Age Home. Grade 6 pupils Re­jane Ra­sool and Daniel Africa, right, handed out muffins.

RAY OF HOPE: A group of nearly 10

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