Manzimdaka School Garden Improvement and Community Health Project

The LAND (Livelihood, Agroecology, and Development) Project and Kidlinks World are in partnership with the Manzimdaka School Garden Improvement and Community Health Project in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa.

South Africa is home to an estimated 5.6 million people living with HIV and AIDS, the highest of any country.  HIV and AIDS prevalence in the Eastern Cape is approximately 20% among adults, putting extreme pressure on household structure and economic stability in a region already suffering from poverty and undernutrition.   Studies show that improved nutritional status and food security can lead to better health outcomes and adherence to HIV medication (antiretroviral therapy), as well as improved work productivity and general well- being.  The LAND Project and Kidlinks are addressing these issues by partnering with the local community to support the Manzimdaka school garden.  The garden space serves as a model for the community, demonstrating the benefits of good agricultural practices for agricultural productivity, diet diversification, and better health.

Currently, a modest garden project is underway at the school, with oversight from community.  The school would like to expand the project. The LAND Project and Kidlinks are working with Manzimdaka school to improve garden productivity and year-round efficiency by developing a composting project. Part of this program will include the introduction of chickens for egg production and poultry, the by-product being highly nutrient rich chicken manure

The overall goals are to support school garden improvements through agricultural sustainability, increase nutritional knowledge among participants, produce a greater selection of healthy foods for children to eat, and share knowledge with the community. The project will include a series of workshops with South African students, including discussion and hands-on activities such as planting, building, and working improving the school garden.

We believe that implementation of improved agricultural techniques, local partnership, and commitment to integrating nutrition and health education into agricultural production will greatly benefit the people of KuManzimdaka, Eastern Cape, South Africa.  Our relationships with local partners and past success working in the area demonstrate that we are qualified to implement this project.  We are currently seeking $3,000 for the necessary planting materials, building materials, training materials,

The long-term objective of this project is to foster relationship and community–building between the Madison community and the people of the Eastern Cape.

Michael Bell

Director, Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems, University of Wisconsin
phone: +1-608-265-9930;
fax: +1-608-262-6022;
Email-: michaelbell@wisc.edu

Liza Lightfoot

Board of Directors, Chair, Kidlinks World

Valerie Stull

Doctoral student, Gaylord Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, University of Wisconsin
Email-: vstull@wisc.edu