Social Responsibility

SIYAPHILA, RGG, & SISONKE

It takes a truly remarkable woman to start a day care center in their community while trying to make ends meet with almost nothing to begin with.

To build a future generation, who is in pursuit of their full potential, a firm foundation is needed. Our first social development project, Siyaphila Day Care started in 2010 in Nyanga East. Mhani Gingi facilitated the 5 carers training and they have now set in place a structured programme and appropriate activities for the children every day. Vegetable gardens were started at Siyaphila, RGG, and Sisonke in order to provide our children with healthy diets. These gardens are making a great difference to the lives of the young children being nurtured at the centers.

Mhani Gingi has helped RGG to fundraise for a new safer structure for the children’s classrooms and acquired donations for paint for the classrooms.

Siyaphila, RGG and Sisonke offer parents and guardians a safe place to leave their children

 YOUTH, DISABLED, & AGED

We facilitate skills training for both the aged and the youth to keep them busy, improve their skill knowledge, and to improve their livelihoods.

We provide seedlings and gardening support services to the Langa Chesire home for the disabled, which has provided food for their kitchen and helps them fundraise through selling produce. Mhani Gingi has also provided seedlings to Thernbalethu, School for the disabled in Gugulethu.

The following links show examples of Mhani Gingi’s conscious decision to support specific target areas as the organization’s social responsibility:

 

Network Initiatives

The Mhani Gingi model promotes social entrepreneurship amongst women and youth, so that they can improve not only their livelihoods but also those of their families and communities. In this way they can move away from being providers of labour and consumers of goods and services to become creators of wealth – owning their own businesses, employing themselves and others, and getting to the point where they contribute fully into the greater economy.

Mhani Gingi supports women and youth as well as vulnerable groups to improve their sewing, beading, gardening, event management, catering, bed and breakfasts and other enterprises, through business and technical skills, as well as arranging open day markets or linking them to such markets so they can sell their beautiful and unique wares.

Through various workshops offered to the network members these women gain valuable knowledge in practical marketing techniques and become successful in their own businesses. Some have become members of the Cape Chamber of Commerce.

The Network Initiatives are broken down into a few different categories:

Beading and Sewing: 

Many of our network members take part in these two disciplines. Mhani Gingi offers support for our women to market their unique products to wider audiences. Check out the following links to learn more about beading and sewing projects.

Pottery and Ceramics:

Some of our network members have been trained in ceramics and pottery making through ClayDezign. They have learnt about wedging the clay, pinching the pots, being creative and using coil techniques to make sellable products. We have joined forces with our nursery to create holders for plants and flowers. Follow the link to read more about our project with the Fettel Fox Pottery Studio in which four women were trained in clay techniques.

Community Gardens:

Mhani Gingi is also involved in the establishment of community gardens and the support of several soup kitchens. These gardens provide vegetables to generate income and to support the soup kitchens.

Hope Soap:

Our small soap making factory grew into a revenue-generating enterprise. As a result, six of our network women gained a small income to support their families. Products are hand-made with a secret recipe including beeswax, palm, coconut, sunflower seed and essential oils. The soap-making projects empower women in the local community to generate income.

Our Dutch Soap Making Project in collaboration with the Saartjie Baartman Centre for Women and Children has provided enterprise skills for five women.  Their products are marketed under the name of The African Violets.  Follow the link to read more.

Craft Projects:

The craft groups exhibit a wide assortment of handcrafted goods. These highly talented groups of women find new and innovative ways to recycle second-hand materials to produce exceptional fashion items, accessories and decorative pieces.

Other Network Initiatives:

The Flagship

Our Flagship programme supports environmental awareness and urban agriculture while providing a platform that encourages both young and old to learn more about organic propagation of vegetable seedlings and herbs and also the use of permaculture methods of propagation. Our environmental activities promote healthy nutrition and food security.

The programme is divided into three distinct focus areas: The Nursery, The Community Gardens, and The Vertical Gardens to include participation by persons with physical disabilities (PWPD).

The Herb and Vegetable Seedling Nursery

The main project operated by Mhani Gingi is the organic Herb and Vegetable Seedling Nursery for vegetable seedlings and ornamental plants. A once unused piece of land at TSIBA campus at Old Mutual Head Office in Pinelands, Cape Town, was turned into a productive incubator space in 2009.

The Mhani Gingi Nursery moved to Athlone in 2017 in collaboration with the Saartjie Baartman Centre for Women and Children.

The Mhani Gingi Nursery is used in many ways to benefit both network members and the Cape Flats communities within which Mhani Gingi works.

Today, the Nursery consists of several gardening tunnels, a hot house, 3 ‘Wendy houses’ for tool storage, an office, training as well as planting beds, for the cultivation of plants, flowers, trees and thousands of seedlings. These are supplied to about 25 community gardens that are supported by Mhani Gingi in the greater Cape Town area. The fencing wall is also utilised for vertical gardens, innovatively including persons with physical disabilities to participate in gardening.

Community Gardens

Use what you have to attract and keep what you need” – It is of utmost importance to utilise every possible available space to produce nutritious food. This practice has worked very well for Mhani Gingi and thanks to the generous donation of seedlings from Pick n Pay, it is being extended into communities via unused grounds at local schools, creches, hospitals, prisons and even office parks on the Cape Flats.

By promoting better nutritional practices at all levels as well as programmes that enhance direct and immediate access to food by the neediest, Mhani Gingi places the emphasis on “Prevention is better than cure.

It is hoped that as school children and communities are taught how to produce and eat healthy food, more and more opportunistic diseases, caused by lack of nutrition, will be eradicated.

Plant Tissue Laboratory 

A plant tissue laboratory planned for Mhani Gingi has not materialised due to lack of resources.  It would not only provide a platform for plant propagation to support the network’s vegetable gardens and nutrition projects, but would also provide training in scientific procedures for township learners. This would help them make a transition to further qualification at tertiary institutions and also to a job in the private sector.

The Vertical Gardens

The Vertical Gardens include participation by persons with physical disabilities (PWPD) in gardening activities and the cultivation of vegetables and other plants.

The Rose Geranium Farm proposal

Mhani Gingi’s Rose Geranium Farm proposal earned a place as one of 50 finalists in the University Startup World Cup 2015 in Copenhagen. The proposal aims to employ persons with disabilities and abled gardeners in urban agriculture through establishment of an organic Rose Geranium oil farm in one of the disadvantaged communities in the greater Cape Town area.

 

Programmes

Mhani Gingi’s Programmes are aligned to three specific strategic objectives:

In sourcing and categorising our respective projects, we look to these three areas for direction.

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Network Initiatives

DSCF01211Under Network Initiative we work to develop enterprise using our model. Mhani Gingi has grouped our network member activities as these focus on empowering women and youth to be wealth creators and small business owners. With targeted business skills development, these women are equipped with the knowledge and tools to start and run their own sustainable enterprises.

Social Responsibility

Silje-with-some-of-the-mothers-at-the-educare-centrBecause we are global citizens who believe passionately about the sustainability of our local communities, we have allocated specific resources to our own social responsibility. In these programmes we target vulnerable children, the elderly and education.

Flagship 

_MG_6932Our Flagship programme supports environmental awareness and education through the nursery at TSIBA, the community gardens and the proposed tissue plant laboratory. With the importance of environmental consciousness and awareness of climate change, we strive to educate those who are uninformed and in so doing promote food security and health and nutrition.