By Chris Marx
I am a member of Hillcrest Rotary. Our objective is to assist impoverished communities and people to grow their own fruit and vegetables to feed themselves in a sustainable and dignified manner.
We intend distributing 1000 of what we refer to as Survival Garden Kits through our Rotary Clubs and other partnering organisations who will be asked to assist and guide the communities to ensure the success of the project.
Each Garden Survival Kit will consist of the following:
- A Hippo Roller – for irrigation
- Garden Tools i.e. Shovel, Hoe, Garden Fork, Trowel, Watering can
- Seeds & Seedlings, Fertilizer
- Garden guide book
- Sanitiser and Soap
*hippo rollers can easily be drawn or rolled from a water source to irrigate a vegetable garden and also utilised to convey drinking water from a source to a convenient access point.
The Rotary Club of Hillcrest has been tasked to be the lead Rotary club in SA for this project. We have 95 Rotary Clubs within our “Rotary District” – this covers the entire KZN, Lesotho, Transkei, the Eastern Cape as far South as to Jeffrey’s Bay and then inland we encompass the areas within Colesburg, Bloemfontein, Kimberley, Potchefstroom and Klerksdorp.
We have also initiated contact with the Lions organisation and hopefully they too will participate in this venture. Thus far we have rolled out 50 kits through the Hillcrest Aids Centre and we have orders in the pipeline for another 314 kits for communities around the country.
The value of the above Survival Garden kit is approx. R 2 850. To achieve our objective, we are reliant on donations, sponsorships from our International partners and whatever funding we can source/raise locally. Besides the partners already on board in Canada, US and Australia we will also be making approaches to the UK, France and other European countries, for support.
This project is essential in the current climate as funds for food parcels and aid will dwindle over time. This project offers communities and families a sustainable food source, it gives beneficiaries dignity and respect within their own communities and households.
A parent may not have a job but can at least provide their family with a nourishing meal.