A SUSTAINABLE AND SELF SUFFICIENT FUTURE FOR EASTERN CAPE’S LONWABO HIGH SCHOOL
Bedford, Eastern Cape
Privately-funded school lunches for matric learners at Lonwabo High School is helping to bolster nutrition and help these learners with focus and concentration during this important period in their schooling careers. Taking this one step further, the establishment of an on-site veggie garden that is equipped with a reliable source of water, has also been funded by BTE Renewables’ nearby Golden Valley Wind Energy Facility, to further help the school become more self-sufficient.
“This support fits our vision, as we view education as a tool to positively impact lives in a sustainable manner, leading to real opportunities for overall livelihood improvement and self-reliance. To this end, the cornerstone of our overarching community development strategy is on education and empowering youth, through interventions and impact programmes such as these,” said Libby Hirshon, Sustainability Director at BTE Renewables.
The programme supports the Department of Basic Education’s learner nutrition programme, which aims to enhance the learning capacity of learners through the provision of a healthy meal at schools.
Hirshon added, “We are pleased to be able to support the Department’s objectives by coming on board to provide for this meal for the 48 matric learners which consists of vegetables, a starch and a protein. The project started in April 2022, for the matric class specifically, and supports the school’s initiative of providing extra classes for the matrics resulting in the Grade 12 class having a longer day at school.”
The addition of the veggie garden is intended to not only provide vegetables for both daily meals, but has also offered employment opportunities to local enterprises. The expectation is that, once established, the surplus produce can be sold to families and the surrounding community, to create an additional stream of income for the school.
In partnership with Gift of the Givers, a borehole has been drilled for and water tanks installed to provide the vegetable garden project with a reliable source of water.
Over the past two years the company has deployed a multi-pronged approach to deal with challenges at Lonwabo High School, which caters to 420 local learners and is located in Bedford, one of Golden Valley Wind Farm’s host communities. This is in line with the ‘Just Transition’ goals of decent work for all, social inclusion, and the eradication of poverty.
“As a company that is part of the community, it is important to us to ensure that the water we are providing for the vegetable garden will also be able to assist the school through the provision of a sustainable water supply in future, as the area is known to have water challenges,” concluded Hirshon.
- Golden Valley Wind Farm has also provided additional textbooks and study guides to the school since 2021.
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