The Ivory Foundation supports a project run by the association ‘Designing Hope’, of a center for orphans (Halfway House), in Kwazulu Natal, South Africa. The objective is to improve the living conditions of these children in vulnerable situations, by contribution in food, and school support.
Eastern and Southern Africa is home to 9.5 million children who have lost one or both parents to AIDS, representing 55 percent of all such children around the world. In Lesotho, South Africa, Swaziland and Zimbabwe, more than one in four children under the age of 15 are orphans. (UNICEF)
Juvenile delinquency tends to increase while the family supervision is becoming more difficult. Thus, the “Halfway House” of Roseboom (Ladysmith area Kwazu Natal, South Africa) welcomes 50 children 5 to 14 years for nutritional support, tutoring, sports and other extracurricular activities in the afternoon, after school, from 15:30 to 17:00pm.
The objective is to improve the living conditions of these children in vulnerable situations, by contribution in food and school support. The activities in the afternoon are intended to encourage the creativity of the children in an environment where inactivity brings the most disadvantaged children in risk behavior.
The responsible of the center has attended a training at the Botswana University of Agriculture, with several specialists in innovative and natural agricultural techniques.
The goal is to learn to grow common vegetables (cabbage, zucchini, spinach …) on “Doors gardens”: culture beds at the size of a door (2m x 1m), particularly suited to suburban townships houses which often have a small plot of a few square meters. These small gardens can bring a food supplement with fresh vegetables for families throughout the year.
The principles of permaculture, such as the creation of fertile soil, using household waste associated with available nearby materials (leaves, branches, grass …) and associations of crops for maximum performance on a small surface are well experienced by the children of the Halfway house.
Vegetables and products are also used in the preparation of daily hot meals for the children of the Halfway House.