Location: South Africa
According to the University of Cape Town’s Children’s Institute, 3.3 million South African children experience hunger. As a result, “The child gets weak, and doesn’t have interest in studying. In my class, there are many cases of children like that. They are always tired,” says a teacher in the Ga-Mashashane tribal area of South Africa’s Limpopo Province.
In 2006, INMED launched the Healthy Futures South Africa program to improve children’s nutritional status by increasing access to vegetables through school gardens and increasing knowledge and practice of good nutrition and healthy lifestyles. Today, more than 120,000 children in the periurban communities of Orange Farm and Ivory Park in Gauteng Province as well as the rural Mashashane tribal area have literally reaped the successes of their flourishing school gardens.
The main goals of the Healthy Futures South Africa program are to:
- improve child nutrition and health and reduce hunger by incorporating vegetables into the daily school meal
- provide school meals that are an added incentive to attend school and that, in due course, will strengthen children’s educational outcomes
- increase knowledge of gardening and good nutrition in the schools and the communities as a whole
- achieve food security for children and their families
- educate children and their communities on the importance of good hygiene and sanitation