At Maropeng, Maloney’s Eye Primary School is close to everyone’s heart.

Located in the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site, Maloney’s Eye Primary is where over 300 children from poverty-stricken backgrounds come to learn, despite facing almost insurmountable social challenges.

The staff members at Maropeng have proudly witnessed how, over the years, the school’s reputation as a quality learning institution has grown, thanks in part to Maropeng’s support.

Magel van de Venter, Maropeng’s education and marketing executive, has worked closely with Maloney’s Eye for many years now – it’s largely due to her efforts that the pupils have decent facilities, a fully functional kitchen, jungle gyms to play on, and, as of Friday 9 May, a food garden.

Supplementing learners’ meals with organic vegetables

“I’m a firm believer that if the kids assist with the planting, they will take responsibility for the overall food garden,” said Magel as she lined up trays of seedlings in pre-prepared beds at Maloney’s Eye School.

“So today we’re going to ask the Grade 7s to help plant the 740 seedlings. We’ve got cabbage, spinach, beetroot, onion and cauliflower – all winter sprouts,” she added.

Staff from Maropeng have already made ready the ground, prepped the garden beds and enriched the soil with manure from Maropeng’s Bokashi process recycling system. Recycled tyres act as retaining walls to the stepped vegetable garden. The tyres will help retain water in the summer and limit soil erosion in the windy winter.

“Our aim is to enhance the nutritional value of the one warm meal these learners are guaranteed daily,” said Magel. “While the Department of Basic Education’s feeding programme includes maize meal and soya as staples, these vegetables will boost the school’s menu with nutrient-rich meals for learners.”

Thanks to Maropeng and Flow Communications

Staff from Flow Communications and Maropeng lent a hand with the planting, and even principal Ellen Mpho Sechotlo got her hands dirty.

Principal Sechotlo was grateful to Flow and Maropeng for being part of changing the lives – and filling the tummies – of the learners.

Flow bookkeeper Nam Madokwe says: “I am so glad I got the opportunity to go to Maloney's Eye Primary School. To see the kids help plant the vegetables and how appreciative and keen they were, was amazing to witness. The vegetable garden is such a good idea, and easy to implement and sustain. And the kids were just wonderful.”

Flow writer Kolosa Vuso agrees. “Seeing the dedication on the eyes of Maloney’s Eye Primary School learners was such an amazing experience because we all walked out of the school knowing that with the guidance of principal Ellen Mpho Sechotlo and Magel van de Venter, the seedlings will flourish to feed these learners. I’m so grateful I got a chance to help the learners plant, I can’t wait for the harvest!”

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