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The utilisation of school food gardens as educational transformation agent to achieve community-wide sustainable livelihoods

The School Food Garden (SFG) project aimed to establish gardens at three schools in Siyabuswa. The SFGs pedagogical potential was explored together with teachers. The project sensitised the different school communities about SFGs and the need for sustainability. Teachers explored gardening techniques and became engaged in rethinking their teaching strategies by integrating outside spaces like SFGs. Teachers envisaged improvements in their learners’ academic performance, as well as increased community involvement in school activities.

From this project, the public can learn about the benefits of community-based food projects in promoting healthy eating habits and engaging young people in their education. The project also highlights the importance of involving the broader community in initiatives aimed at improving food security and sustainability.

The key findings of the School Food Garden project were that thorough planning is needed when embarking upon the establish of a sustainable school food garden. The project also demonstrated the potential value of engaging teachers, learners, and the broader community in promoting healthy eating habits and sustainable food production practices, aimed at increasing food security.

In terms of relationships, the project brought together academic staff from the University of Mpumalanga, teachers, parents, and community members to work towards a common goal. The further expansion of the gardens should increase a sense of working towards a common goal by taking ownership of the gardens.

The key outputs/outcomes of the project were the establishment of school food gardens, the development of teacher capacity in gardening, and the potential improvement of learners’ academic performance and behaviour. The project also raised awareness about the importance of sustainable food systems and healthy eating habits in the local community.

Overall, the School Food Garden project serves as a model for community-based initiatives aimed at promoting healthy eating habits and sustainability practices among young people. Its success highlights the importance of engaging the broader community in efforts to improve food security and promote healthier lifestyles. 

More information about the project

Key Themes:
Climate Action
Sustainable Livelihoods
Location: south africa
Principal Investigator: Funso Kutu, Geoffrey Mahlomaholo, Andries du Plessis
Co-Investigators: Gerhard Viljoen, Eurika Jansen van Vuuren, Vanessa Rademeyer, Xola Nduku, Ben Mona, Abby Masenya, Jacob Masingi, Kuzie Khanye, Merriam Nkosi, Frank Moshitoa
Host Organisation: University of Mpumalanga
Duration: 11 months

If you’d like to know more, you can contact the project Principal Investigator here.