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From Poverty To Prosperity: Available Options

20 septembre 2023 | Sizwe Manqele, Bevil Lucas and Selby Nomnganga | Popular Education Network (PEN) Community Learning

From poverty to prosperity pic
Jonbenay "JB" Prins in the black top is the auxiliary social worker for the Goedgedacht programme. With her are Bevel Lucas, Selby Nomnganga and Sizwe Manqele from the Popular Education Programme. Photo: Sizwe Manqele
“We conscientize the community that food comes from the soil and is healthier and more nutritious” says Sizwe Manqele from Ikamva Community Cooperative food garden in Khayelitsha. He adds that the Cooperative keeps the seeds, grows vegetables and sell them as a means of income generation. This, in turn, is used to teach children to grow food at home and to maintain the programme.

On the farms, The First 1000 Days programme based on Goedgedacht farm near Malmesbury, Western Cape, uses the approach of turning poverty into prosperity. This involves providing children with basic necessities, and holding workshops on domestic violence and life skills.

Jonbenay ‘JB’ Prins is the auxillary social worker for the farm programme, which is also involved with the Department of Health. According to Prins, farm workers sometimes have a dependency on alcohol and spend their wages on it. “Mostly young mothers are taking part in our programmes and we follow the need and not the pamphlet [of program activities] during farm visits’’ added Prins.

‘’The leaking bucket [a budgeting method] is used to help track of household spending’’ says Anna Nobangela, her coworker. The participants work out visually, using the symbol of a leaking bucket, just how much of their income leaks out on different household items such as alcohol, compared to clothes and food. They then determine how to change their spending habits.

A dance and music programme - Heal The Hood, based in Grassy Park, Western Cape conducts workshops which demonstrate how income can be generated through dance, poetry, making t-shirts and music. These activities occur in impoverished communities.

Likewise, the 18 Gangster Museum keeps young people away from gang activities whilst running carwash services to generate income for the individuals.

When programmes like these can be expanded nationally, this has the potential to create a circular economy. This means using and working with each other in each local economy.