Barberton youth fights poverty with agriculture

Sunday, August 27, 2017

The community of Barberton in Mpumalanga is using their donated land to bring about change especially among its youth.

The 2.5 hectares of land which was donated by the Correctional Services Department in 2015 was meant to be utilised for agricultural purpose, poverty alleviation and developing the settlers of Barberton particularly youth.

The youth from the area went on to partner with the Department of Corporative Governance, which employed Seriti Institute to assist in transferring agricultural skills to community members.

To date, the project has managed to employ more than 85 community members, among them parolees, probationers and ex-offenders who use the land effectively to produce vegetables. 

All employees receive a monthly stipend which is paid by the Department of Corporative Governance.

The produce, which include spinach, beetroot, cabbages and tomatoes were harvested and donated to the destitute, child headed families, old age homes and care centres.

According to the Project Manager, Sarah Mabuza, the project benefitted 25 households and 18 care centres within the borders of Umjindi.

Mabuza further said that they are delighted to see people going to bed with something in their stomach.

“We have managed to harvest and donate more than 500kg of vegetables to the needy, some of the beneficiaries include Umjindi ECD Centre ward 45, Ligcabho Lesive Centre, Ekujabuleni Disable Centre, Sihlulile Mhola Old Age Centre, Busy Crèche, Siyakhula Day Care centre, Siphosetfu Crèche, Thandanani Home Base Care, Happy little minds Creche, Salvation Army Crèche, Masibambisane Drop-In-Centre,” Mabuza said. 

Mabuza called on other institutions to continue initiating programmes like this since they contribute to poverty alleviation.

“Poverty continues to strike our community, as a result our youth is turning to crime in order generate income and this cripples the future of our youth,” Mabuza said.

In making sure that the project runs smoothly, the department of Correctional Services ensured that water is supplied to the project, and also availed the tractor which assisted in tilling the land. –


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