Each year, the 7th grade students in Port Elizabeth are required to start an entrepreneurship initiative as part of their school curriculum. This year, INMED South Africa encouraged Seyisi Primary School to use its Health in Action garden as its entrepreneurship project.
The school garden has been a key source of more nutritious school meals as well as an income generator within the community. The students maintain the garden as part of their academic curricula, learning lessons on life science, math, nutrition, sanitation and environmental stewardship.
This year, the 7th grade students ran the garden as a business, learning how to develop a business plan, set goals, purchase supplies and inventory, maintain their resources, market their products and generate a profit. At the end of the project, the entire school hosted a Market Day, an event open to the community to purchase their produce, herbs, prepared foods and other items made from the garden’s bounty. The event was also organized to encourage community members to plant their own household gardens for food and income.
INMED provided compost, seedlings, potting bags and soil for the school garden, in addition to building a seedling nursery at the school to boost the initiative and to support other nearby schools with seedlings for their Health in Action gardens.
The 7th graders set a target to earn R5,000 from this project—with half to be re-invested in the garden and the other half to fund a farewell function for the graduating students. The project was so successful that the students exceeded their target by R3,000.
“This initiative is one of many ways INMED South Africa is spurring economic development via our Adaptive Agriculture and Health in Action Programmes,” notes Dr. Linda Pfeiffer, CEO of INMED Partnerships for Children. “It’s encouraging to see how eagerly the children take to aquaponics and school gardens—and how their enthusiasm ripples out into the families and communities.”