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Posts Tagged ‘fezeka school’

Cool Story Hansel

So I have officially been in Cape Town, South Africa for three weeks and I feel that now I have both the perspective and the time to finally contribute to this blog. As many of you know, this is the official EwB, or Education Without Borders, blog. What few, if any, of you know is that I am the new Project Manager here on the ground at Fezeka schools. While I will write about my actual experiences, the program itself, the learners (students), etc. I wanted to take this opportunity to just introduce myself to let you know a little bit about myself.

My name is Courtney Lemm, and while I moved around a lot due to being a navy brat, I was born in San Diego, California but tell people I am from the great state of Virginia. I did both my bachelor’s and masters degrees (sandwiched around a year spent abroad in England) at Old Dominion University. It was here that I became acquainted with Dr. Jennifer Fish, and as a result Ruth and Cecil Hershler. They hired me for this amazing opportunity to work with both there organization and with the kids that their program works with/for, along with the countless others that this type of work touches. While I have been here for only three weeks, I have instantly felt at home in both the organization and as Cape Town as a whole. It has everything to do with the people and this place. It is absolutely accommodating and intoxicating.  It is unlike any other place I have ever been.

So one of the many projects that I hope to turn into a success is furthering and enhancing the social media of EwB, starting with this blog. I will be continuing and expanding my role on this blog with my own posts, but also will be bringing in more voices into the fold. I hope to turn this into once EwB voice that encompasses all of those involved within the organization. I hope that this blog includes not only myself and those that are already contributing, but also volunteers, tutors, learners and the other project managers that I work alongside daily. All of these voices will give a well rounded and strong voice to the importance and successful nature of EwB as a whole. I hope to have my first two guest bloggers up and posting within the next week.

In the future I will be updating about the daily events that are happening on the ground here at Fezeka schools. From the end of term anxiety that the learners go through, to our various excursions we take on holiday programs, our end of the year programs, the ins and outs of our learners, volunteers, tutors and project managers lives, to the successes and failures that we as a group, program and organization face here in Cape Town. It is an exciting opportunity and i’m so very happy to be a part of it.

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The SEED program at Fezeka is beginning to take root. This is a program funded by Education without Borders and focuses on bringing interactive environmental education to schools such as Fezeka. At Fezeka the SEED program has funded the school food garden as well as the school’s wind turbine, which provides clean electricity to the sciences lab.

As explained by Green Practice’s facilitator Bood Carver, the SEED program is now in its second year at Fezeka. It has helped connect local residents with farming culture, bringing not just students to the project, but also parents, unemployed residents, and elders. SEED’s success is that it not only teaches residents and students about where their food comes from, it also helps build a community around a public space. Public environs are often neglected in urban slums because residents do not have the means or incentives to develop such spaces. Without safe public spaces it is very difficult for residents to develop healthy learning communities.

Below is Bood Carver’s article to us. Feel free to read and comment on it. Who knows, perhaps you have some ideas that can be used to make the garden work even better!

Glen

Green Practice by facilitator Bood Carver

In the second year with SEED, Fezeka has really stood out. The caretakers are hardworking and there is a strong farming culture and practical awareness of the need to grow food here at this school. We are fortunate to have such dedicated staff here and some individuals are highly successful gardeners. We try and integrate and respect their techniques as much as possible and often they are included in lessons with learners. This has helped to build a collaborative and successful partnership with the school. The garden is beautifully designed and cared for. It is neat and highly productive. Learners are very interested in many aspects of the garden. Medicinal plants and remedies are a favorite topic, as is global warming and permaculture. It’s amazing to hear how knowledgeable the grade 10’s are on these topics, especially medicinal plants.

There is great community involvement at this school and we are regularly having conversations over the fence with community members. One unemployed father, Mfundo has asked to sit in on occasion in SEED lessons. Another old man often gives great gardening advice from across the fence when he’s walking past. The wind turbine and garden attracts attention to the school and

people feel free to interact spontaneously and often ask questions concerning the garden. We are keen and looking forward to expanding the food garden to produce more vegetables next term.

Highlights:

Great lessons on medicinal plants with great involvement from learners. There was great interest in common remedies, which are derived from plants that we had growing in the garden. Sam Freedom bought a small jar of “Miracle ointment”, made from Kooigoed, Comfrey, Rosemary and Lavender.

The new worm farm and banana spiral are amazing and functioning very well and we have been highly impressed with the size of the vegetables that are growing at this school!

FEZEKA PRIMARY

MITCHELLS PLAIN

Green Practice

Facilitator: Bood Carver

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