In April 2017, OUTsurance staff visited the Momentum Service Centre in Danville, Pretoria and Thusong Day Care in Soweto, respectively. Momument Service Centre caters to the needs of around 85 disadvantaged elderly people between the ages of 60 to 84 who are not living in old age homes. Thusong Day Care in Soweto has taken it upon themselves to look after 100 children between the ages of 2 and 5 years.
Both projects were nominated by OUTsurance staff members who felt that these organisations would benefit greatly from having a sustainable vegetable garden to help them provide for the people who rely on them on a daily basis.
For both projects, staff and community members used a product called Reel Gardening. The biodegradable strip of seed is easy to plant as it’s already set at the correct depth and width, with the necessary fertiliser already added to the strip.
The team from Reel Gardening not only provided detailed training to the OUTsurance volunteers and community role players, but also assisted with the hard work of preparing the soil and planting the seed strips. In addition, they also demonstrated how to maintain the garden, explained the importance of companion planting, and emphasised the fact that these strips will result in a 80% water saving.
The volunteers worked potting soil and compost into the garden before planting the seed strips. Half of the strips were planted in the garden and the other half in Grow Pods.
Grow Pods are grow bags that are 1m in diameter and 30cm high. They are made out of a UV-treated recycled plastic and come with a weed guard cover. These pods can be placed anywhere, allowing for maximum sun exposure, and the weed guard prevents weeds from growing and water from evaporating out of the soil. In addition, Grow Pods allow you to control the quality of soil that is used and regulate the temperature to keep the seeds and soil warm.
For each project, we used eight grow pots and planted around seven beds of veggies. We also covered the soil with bird nets to keep unwanted guests at bay.
Before we left, OUTsurance staff members provided the Monument Service Centre with lunch and toiletries, whilst the children from Thusong Day Care were spoiled with sweets and brand-new colouring-in books and crayons.
We also donated new watering cans and garden hoses to each organisation to help them keep the gardens in top notch condition.
All of our Staff Helping SA OUT projects are nominated by OUTsurance staff. We require staff to get their hands dirty and do most of they physical work to keep the costs down as much as possible. The focus is placed on projects that will make a real difference in the lives of ordinary people. We also place a huge focus on the sustainability of the project – we want the charity organisation to be able to take the project to the next level once we’re off site.
Unfortunately, we are not able to make donations or sponsor external projects.
Click here to read more about Staff Helping SA OUT.