National Arbor Week is celebrated from 1 – 7 September every year. This year, Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM) partnered with Food and Trees for Africa to plant vegetable gardens and fruit trees at two schools in the Alexandra and Tembisa townships.
The Minerva High School in Alexandra Township and the Khula Sizwe Primary School in Tembisa were chosen by TSAM for their proximity to the organisation’s Head Office in Sandton and the Parts Distribution Centre in Kempton Park. The veggie gardens will assist in feeding the children at the school as well as their families.
“Assisting the communities in which we operate has always been a priority for Toyota. In this instance we believe that by uplifting these two schools, we will create a sustainable food source not only for the students but for the greater community as well. The veggie garden also gives the community the opportunity to learn a skill which can be replicated to create a further feed the community,” said Calvyn Hamman, Senior Vice President at Toyota South Africa Motors.
The project will provide the schools with all the necessary resources need to plant, tend and care for the veggie gardens. The tools include training for the faculty members, garden tools, plant materials, as well as mentoring and coaching after the completion of the planting.
Food & Trees for Africa (FTFA), started in 1990, is a South African social enterprise that believes in making a difference with objectives which include: to contribute to greening, climate change action, sustainable natural resource management, permaculture food security and organic farming and to create awareness of the benefits of environmental improvement activities amongst all communities of Southern Africa. FTFA has distributed 4.2 million trees, planted 140 hectares of bamboo sites and facilitated the creation of thousands of natural food gardens and some organic farms for the poorest.
In addition to this, TSAM has challenged its dealers to do the same and plant fruit trees or a veggie garden to feed a previously disadvantage community in their area.
“Toyota has the biggest dealer network in South Africa and if we can each make a difference in one community, our collective effort will show our commitment to greening South Africa as well as reducing our carbon footprint,” concluded Hamman.