This year, South African Friends of Israel (SAFI) and the Jewish National Fund (JNF) are celebrating Tu B’Shvat, the New Year of Trees, by partnering with the Seeds of Hope Community Gardening Project in Khayelitsha. Based at the Makukhanye Centre, Pastor Aaron Makili and his team have planted a community kitchen garden on the good sized plot surrounding their community centre. The garden consists of vegetables and herbs and the produce is used in the soup kitchen, also based at the Makukhanye Centre, which daily feeds 230 individuals (including many children). The garden is worked by local volunteers, helping to restore self-esteem and purpose to the many who have lost employment during the pandemic.
The productivity of the garden is, however, greatly hampered for the lack of even a basic irrigation system, with all the plants currently being watered manually, whilst the quality of the soil is poor and sandy. The need of the local community in Khayelitsha for food security is very great, particularly in these uncertain times, and that’s why SAFI and the JNF are stepping in to help. Today on Tu B’Shvat, we are making a donation to the Seeds of Hope project to assist them with their most pressing needs for basic water irrigation, tools, seeds and improvement of the soil through fertilisation and enrichment. Through this donation, we are actively remembering our responsibility to care for our land; making it green, verdant and productive in a way which is sustainable and ecologically sound. What better way to do this than to assist a nascent micro-farming initiative which is wholly dedicated to serving the needs of its local community?
And watch this space! SAFI and the JNF are hoping to assist the Seeds of Hope project again in the future, as funds permit. We aim to help to develop the garden site with tree plantings in strategic places on the plot, as well as enabling the team to realise their aspirations to help their community by providing seeds, seedlings, compost and fertiliser to local families so that they can start their own vegetable gardens. Together, we really can plant seeds of hope.