120 volunteers from Japan visited Swartkop Valley Primary School to help improve their food garden.
The school, near Muldersdrift in Gauteng, initiated a permaculture food garden with funding from Woolworths, while Food & Trees for Africa (FTFA) have been providing permaculture training and materials since 2006. The gardens have been visited as a food security model.
On a goodwill mission
The Japanese volunteers were on a tree-planting and food-gardening goodwill mission co-ordinated by the Wonderful World Tree Planting Festival, a Japanese-based organisation, and FTFA, who have been greening and addressing food sustainability since 1990. Leading the Japanese group were Earthwalker Paul Coleman, who has walked over 47 000 km through 39 nations spreading the environmental message.
‘The learners’ school attendance has greatly improved thanks to the feeding scheme that has been boosted by the project,’ said a project member. Learners are also encouraged to start their own food gardens at home to boost household food security.
The event was part of a busy Arbour Month schedule for FTFA, and one of many projects visited by the Japanese volunteers who worked alongside the learners and educators, weeding, clearing and planting more trees and vegetables.