How do you feed a population of 80 000 people living in an area where poverty is rife and opportunities are few? Impophomo, together with the IDC, is making a difference to many in Zandspruit. The key has been their investment into urban farming, skills development, and a soup kitchen.
On Tuesday the 2nd of October, representatives of the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) met with Impophomo staff and the Zandspruit farmers. Also present were leaders from Northpoint City Church, who founded Impophomo together with Umsizi Sustainable Social Solutions.
The IDC has donated toward the farming project in Zandspruit earlier in the year. The results the farmers have seen from May to October were cause for celebration on the day.
Row after row of sprouting leafy vegetables filled the tract of land, which had been unutilised before the project began. Impophomo has trained 46 farmers with the skills necessary to rear these crops. This is creating food security and even providing a surplus which the farmers can begin to sell in the community. The staff of the IDC were so happy with their investment that they are looking forward to the next stage of development.
The executive director of Impophomo, John Mark Kilian, said, “Today is a day of celebration… God has chosen this land to show South Africa something beautiful.” He went on to say that this would not have been possible without the IDC.
Bongi of the IDC thanked God, and Impophomo and Umsizi for the work accomplished in the farmlands. “We are going forward,” she said, looking ahead to a strategy to have the farmers entering the industry supply chain.
Solomon, also of the IDC, said, “We really have a good story to tell today.”
Alphaeus Mashile, a community leader who is involved in the farming process, had this to say: “Thank you Umsizi, and God bless you, IDC… when Impophomo arrived, they promised only training, but we have received much more than they promised. I am very happy.
“I can sleep at night, knowing we have a way out … thank you for your assistance and teamwork.”
Alphaeus also oversees Mashile’s Soup Kitchen, another beneficiary project of the IDC’s investment into Zandspruit. The representatives got to see the upgrades to the facility, which is feeding hundreds of pensioners and other Zandspruit residents each day.
The staff of this soup kitchen have been working on a volunteer basis. Impophomo and IDC thanked them for their selfless work, prompted by love for the community.
Future plans for the projects include irrigation and infrastructure upgrades, and business opportunities for both the farmers and the ladies working in the soup kitchen.