March’s updates are reflective of milestones covered within the first quarter of 2022, where our projects continue to gather momentum, enabling us to bring about meaningful impacts in various communities.
UPDATE ON SEKELEKANI COOPERATIVE, GAZINI (KZN)
The Cooperative finished harvesting their crop of red chillies, after having employed 5 part-time labourers to help in this process over a 6 day period. In total, they harvested 125 bags of the crop, estimated to be between 7,5kg to just over 8kg per bag. Weighing is still being conducted. The chillies will be sent off to the market at the end of March, and we anticipate that the Cooperative will obtain a favourable income considering the current market related chilli prices. Their apiculture project is progressing well, and ‘though we are getting into winter which is characterised by reduced productivity, we anticipate an excellent harvest of at least 438 kg of honey as we approach the 3rd quarter of the year.
#BIKES4ERP, MADIKWE (NW)
We are pleased to report on very positive feedback coming from the #Bikes4ERP programme in Madikwe. All student beneficiaries are making use of their allocated bicycles, a pleasing development to note. The mechanic, Eric, continues to monitor this usage and offer his support to all the students at least twice a week. His dedication and tenacity have been instrumental to the success of this project thus far, underpinning the importance of having a committed team both on and off the ground in order to reach the desired outcomes.
MADIKWE LEARNERSHIP PROGRAMME
We are pleased to report that the IT Learnership programme at Madikwe is progressing well, with all beneficiaries coping with the various concepts that they are being taught. The programme is part of ERP’s offering under the long term partnership with Barokologadi Community Property Association (BCPA), and is facilitated by Godisang Development. The learnership has 30 beneficiaries from the four BCPA community villages, and is imparting critical skills pertaining to artificial intelligence and the 4th industrial revolution.
APICULTURE PROJECT UPDATES
Portia recently received the industrial machinery for her working facility, which is in the process of being fitted. Once functional, the facility will, among other things be utilized to process ERP honey from our various initiatives. Pictured here are the recently formed members of the honey production cooperatives who will shortly be provided with additional new uniforms and additional beehives. Portia is also in the process of purchasing uniforms for the recently hired personnel responsible for apiculture training in our ERP communities, including in Madikwe.
NTSHABELENG WASTE MANAGEMENT COOPERATIVE
The Cooperative continued with their waste collection activities during March, managing to sell about 3 tonnes of mixed recyclable waste to a local buyer. Their Bokashi Organic Waste Programme is progressing well, and thanks to EPI-USE Africa, they have their first order of around 500kg of the organic waste, to be supplied throughout the course of this year.
WATERBERG WAVE FM UPDATES
Waterberg Waves FM recently interviewed the Deputy Minister in the Presidency, Ms Pinky Kekana, who had visited the Vaalwater Hub. The visit coincided with a coding programme that benefitted 50 students, and covered topics that included an introduction to coding, virtual reality, drone coding and robotics. As reported on last month, the radio station established a good working relationship with Waterberg FM. This will see Letticia and her team from Waterberg Wave FM speaking about environmental issues during a current affairs show which airs daily, with the view that Waterberg Wave FM will continue to have an interview once a month in celebration of the environmental calendar days this year. Other notable activities from the radio station during March include interviewing the Marekele National Park Environmental Education Office on issues around waste management and the importance of recycling waste. This was of course over and above the daily ERP programme presented by Letticia, which covered various topics including water pollution preventative measures, conservation and human rights and also celebrated Wildlife Day.
VAALWATER HUB PROGRAMMES DURING MARCH
The lab has been running a number of programmes, including various computing and more recently, coding related programmes. These have benefited over 100 learners since the beginning of this year. As already alluded to, it played host to the Deputy Mister in the Presidency, who not only participated in a radio interview, but was also given an opportunity to tour the Hospice at the Centre, which has recently been assisting rape victims as part of its anti-rape strategies. The Centre has also commenced with its various outreach programmes, which has seen it providing food parcels to 13 families, sponsoring students in need with uniforms and stationery and providing sanitary towels to adolescent females, programmes which where all implemented with support from various stakeholders provincially and nationally.
NDUMO SCHOOLS ORPHAN PROJECT
The Ndumo Schools Orphan Project (NSOP) was established circa 2002, by a group of concerned school principals and teachers who were troubled by the significant level of absenteeism amongst their pupils. Upon investigation, they discovered that an alarming number of these children were orphans and otherwise vulnerable children who were being left to fend for themselves due to a devastating rise in deaths in the community as a result of the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Many didn’t have clothing to attend school. The NSOP initially focused on providing the orphans and vulnerable children with food parcels supplied at the time by the Catholic Church. Subsequently, in 2015, funds were raised to provide ePap to these children. We have undertaken to continue to support the work that is done by the NSOP and with generous funding from ERP, USA, recently, we were able to continue to distribute ePap to the 400 orphans who are not eligible for government grants, as well as 20 caregivers who attend to them.
For as little as the equivalence of $15 a month, you can support an orphaned or otherwise vulnerable child with a supply of ePap for an entire month. Join and support our cause by clicking on the link below: