Every year the entire EIMS team heads out of town for a few days to refresh and have a good time! This year we decided on one of the beautiful, quiet reserves in the Waterberg area north of Vaalwater, Limpopo. As part of our trip we planned to incorporate a social upliftment initiative into our activities.
Working in conjunction with the amazing Waterberg Trust organisation (www.thewaterbergtrust.com) we hoped that the Meetsetshehla Secondary School in the area would consider our offer to be of assistance. Meetsetshehla is a school of over 700 pupils and services the Leseding community on the outskirts of Vaalwater. The Waterberg Trust has supported the school through various initiatives over the years, and, in 2017 the Trust appointed Grace Ismail, an experienced school nurse, to work on addressing the social, health and educational issues the children face every day.
One of the many positive initiatives Grace has implemented in the school is the creation of a vegetable garden. The school has a feeding scheme that supports 500 children each day, and the garden provides a much-needed variety of nutritious ingredients for the meals. In addition, the garden is used by the Life Orientation students in their studies.
Two of our most experienced consultants, Brian Whitfield and Nobuhle Hughes, were so generous with their time and energy to provide suggestions and advice to the staff and students on ways to improve the productivity of the garden. Posters and year planners were produced for the school, providing guidance on how the vegetable gardens should be managed through the four seasons in the years ahead.
EIMS was also able to gift materials for the school to build a second large shaded vegetable garden, protected from birds and the harsh sun in the area. A bakkie-load of compost, fertilizers, many seedlings, seeds and gardening equipment was added to the donation.
We are thankful to the Waterberg Trust, Meetsetshehla Secondary School, and to the amazing Nurse Grace, for inviting us into their school, and we hope there are many delicious vegetables produced in the years to come!