With the threat of global climate change looming large, the challenge of sustainable living will top many an agenda this year.
Woolworths Trust EduPlant launches its 2007 programme with a series of free workshops to help teachers create environment-friendly shool food- gardens.
Coordinated by Food and Trees For Africa, Woolworths Trust EduPlant, in association with the Water Affairs and Forestry Department, LandCare SA and SABC Educatio, aims to promote and support sustainable, environment-friendly food- gardening at schools.
The EduPlant programme involves the use of resource-efficient permaculture techniques. Permaculture is a philosophy and system of environment-friendly gardening and farming, designed to mirror the patterns of nature.
Workshop topics include water harvesting, soil improvement, natural resource mapping and methods of stimulating pupil involvement.
Through their past participation in EduPlant, thousands of schools across the country have become champions of community development, promoting food security, improved nutrition and self-reliance.
The programme starts with free one-day workshops in all nine provinces. Last year, more than 380 schools participated in the Woolworths Trust EduPlant programme.
The programme features group interaction and experiential exercises which are used to create a fun and meaningful learning environment.
Teachers are supported in their efforts by qualifying to enter their school gardens in the yearly Woolworths Trust EduPlant competition which offers a number of exciting prizes.
Woolworths Trust announced earlier this year that it will continue as the major sponsor until 2010.
The chairman of the Woolworths Trust, Brian Frost, said: "Long-term commitment is important to sustain a programme such as EduPlant where the benefits to schools accrue year after year. At the entry level, Woolworths Trust EduPlant helps schools to improve the nutrition of hungry pupils and to enhance and protect the school's physical environment."
Many of the teachers participating in the programme become "champions" of food security in their communities by teaching other schools and community groups how to develop their own permaculture gardens.
The schools themselves become hubs of environmental awareness, and nutritional knowledge and a healthy food source for the community.
Teachers and schools wanting information about the EduPlant programme and the competition should contact Joanne Rolt on 011-803-9750 or at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.trees.org.za.