Educators throughout South Africa can now sign up to attend the annual Woolworths Trust EduPlant Permaculture workshops. For many, it will be that first important step taken to transform their school grounds into healthy, greened environments, as they learn to develop food gardens that yield much-needed food for hungry school children. Woolworths Trust EduPlant in association with the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry, Landcare SA and SABC Education, is the leading schools food gardening and greening programme that promotes and supports schools in the growing of food in a sustainable, natural way. Over the past 10 years, EduPlant has helped thousands of schools to enhance food security in their communities and to improve the nutrition of their learners. Ms Mokokga of Moriteng Primary, last year's runner-up in the Woolworths Trust EduPlant Advanced Category, commented: “The difference that EduPlant has made in our school is that our learners are no longer starving… Now that we have the Permaculture project we are able to cook some vegetables – some maize, some sweet potatoes at breaks.” 54 one-day EduPlant workshops will be held in February and March in all the provinces. These workshops provide the necessary instruction and resources so that educators can initiate or further develop food gardens at schools. As many educators can attest to, taking part in a Woolworths Trust EduPlant workshop is a rewarding experience where they gain valuable knowledge of Permaculture, acquire hands-on gardening techniques and learn how to integrate their food-garden projects into the outcomes-based learning curriculum. The Woolworths Trust EduPlant workshops are the first stage of the exciting year ahead. Once schools have developed gardens, educators enter their projects into a national competition. They receive ongoing support and advice from Permaculture experts, who travel the country and then select 63 finalists. These outstanding schools attend a fantastic three-day event in September, where they present their schools efforts to a panel of judges. More than R200 000's worth of prizes can be won, and schools are invited to enter now. Woolworths Trust EduPlant is managed by Food & Trees for Africa, and the other partners are the Department of Water and Forestry, Landcare SA and SABC Education. “As the country's leading supplier of organic and free range foods, Woolworths sees EduPlant as a way of making more South Africans part of our Good Food Journey,” says Woolworths CSI Manager, Zinzi Mgolodela. “There are many who cannot afford to buy food from Woolworths, and EduPlant is an effort to teach those people the life skills of growing good food for themselves.” Improving food security in impoverished communities is at the core of Woolworths Trust EduPlant. It is aligned with the aims of the government's national school nutrition programme, and is widely recognised as a successful partnership of businesses, NGO's and government making a valuable difference by helping to alleviate poverty in our country. For further workshop information, to sign up and enter, contact:
Joanne Rolt at FTFA on (011) 8039750, email or see Woolworths Trust EduPlant page.