According to Maslows hirachey of needs Food . During early childhood and school-age years, children begin to establish habits for eating and exercise that stick with them for their entire lives. If children establish healthy habits, their risk for developing many chronic diseases will be greatly decreased. On the other hand, poor eating habits and physical inactivity during childhood set the stage for health problems in adulthood.
As children enter school and begin to participate in organized sports and other activities that result in an increase in physical activity, their appetite and food intake usually increases.
Starting school and participating in other structured activities places new social, emotional, and mental demands on children. Consequently, the school-age years are characterized by intense development in social and cognitive skills.
Without adequate nutrition, children will experience physical and mental fatigue, have difficulty concentrating on learning tasks, and will ultimately exhibit slower cognitive and behavioral development.
HPFG then realized the need to initiate two programmes that will serve as a corner stone for the development of children in addressing both the nutrition and educational challenges. These two primary focus programmes consist of the following:
Back-yard vegetable gardens. Home gardens are a community’s most adaptable and accessible land resource and are an important component in reducing vulnerability and ensuring food security. Over the next five years, our goal is to establish 5000 backyard vegetable gardens in the low-income households of the Emakhazeni.
Career Preparation. On the Education and Mentorship Programme, HPFG will utilise volunteers who are learners from local schools, post matric – unemployed youth in the community, retired professionals and also employed people who are willing to give back to the community and share their skills with others.
The core objective of the programme is the establishment of the household’s backyard vegetable gardens and Education and Mentorship for the households with people who attends schools (Learners/ Scholars). The programmes will involve communities, broader industry stakeholders and provincial government to secure community involvement in the development of food security programmes and also to identify relevant focus areas for these programmes.
Over the next five years, our goal is to establish 5000 backyard vegetable gardens in the low-income households of the Emakhazeni communities, and other rural areas in Mpumalanga Province. We aim to focus on 1000 indigenous households on this financial year; 2014/2015.
Throughout the year, HPFG will recruit volunteers who will be at work, conducting a community based survey research to verify the list of the indigenous families that we have drew from the Emakhazeni Municipality Office. More activities will be led in partnership between HPFG and the Mpumalanga Department of Agriculture, which includes: capacity building programmes for beneficiaries, preparing and testing the soil for planting, planting vegetable seeds, maintaining the gardens, monitoring and evaluation, also annual competitions for the best gardens and other activities that may be relevant to above mentioned programmes.
On the Education and Mentorship Programme, HPFG will utilize volunteers who are learners from local schools, post matric – unemployed youth in the community, retired professionals and also employed people who are willing to give back to the community and share their skills with others. Each volunteer will be expected to successfully participate in a two weeks research programme at the beginning of their involvement in HPFG. This research program will include various activities for learners and other volunteers to determine the social challenges faced by learners from child headed families and also those who are from extremely lowest or no income households. The research programme is also aimed to equip young people with skills to be personally responsible enough to solve their own challenges.
Learners’ volunteers who demonstrate proficiency during the initial program will be supported to establish forums to learn effective problem solving techniques and to also manage and share opportunities equally as they are presented to them. Each student volunteer will be expected to contribute 3-5 hours each week and to continue with HPFG for a period of not less than a year (1 year) to determine the effectiveness of HPFG Programmes outputs.
Our mission is to support the learners in schools with their careers by offering education and mentorship programme and also to empower the communities with backyard vegetable gardens to argument food security efforts in low income communities as a way to support mostly the learning abilities of children, by mentoring families to a healthy and nutritious meal for children and all. The community backyard gardens would be operated for the economic, social cohesion and ecological benefit of the citizens of Mpumalanga Province. HPFG will redefine the means of livelihoods of the rural communities and transform it into a sustainable development.
The first stage of the Development of the project will be phased in with the whole project which has started from April 2014 and to be completed by March 2019 however, and also to be linked with the Education and Mentorship Programme, for all the households who are beneficiaries of Back-yards vegetable gardens.
The programme can be extended to reach the larger national and global communities who are in need, depending on the availability of resources within the Organization.