The Johannesburg Homelessness Network (JHN) is working to create three food gardens across Johannesburg in Randburg, Rosebank and Braamfontein.
Participants are homeless people identified through various initiatives of the JHN through churches and existing shelters.
Feedback from the first month of the Social Employment Fund programme has been inspiring:
“Seeing the Randburg vegetable garden develop and the pride of the participants is heart-warming. Seeing their faces beam signing their often first employment contract was indeed special. Getting their first salary was magic for the men as they had renewed pride in themselves. They reported that they could now help a bit towards their children’s wellbeing, and some felt that as they had work, they could now date!”
Participants have shown enthusiasm and initiative by making their own signage for the garden.
To supplement the programme, the JHN is looking at ways to partner with Chefs for Compassion, NOSH Food rescue and other stakeholders to train the participants in food preparation and food production using rescued food, on the days they do not work in the garden.