Unlocking Ocean View’s farming potential

Representatives of various Ocean View non-profit organisations who completed an agriculture course presented by the South African Institute of Entrepreneurs (SAIE). With them is Aslam Richards, far left, the founder of the Cape Flats Wellness Centre and a proportional representation councillor for the Patriotic Alliance.

Ocean View’s children and representatives from non-profit organisations had an introduction to farming last week.

An agriculture course was presented by the South African Institute of Entrepreneurs (SAIE) at the Cape Flats Wellness Centre in Ocean View, which organised the training.

Soup kitchens were among those who took part, and the purpose was to teach entrepreneurs how to grow their own food, said Aslam Richards, the founder of the Cape Flats Wellness Centre and a proportional representation councillor for the Patriotic Alliance.

“People are desperate for work and it is these types of programmes that I want to bring to the community to empower them and to help them improve their lives and those around them,” he said.

SAIE facilitator Jasmine Mazwi, who lives in Ocean View, presented the courses – one for the non-profits and one for children on holiday.

Mr Richards said it was vital to teach the youth life skills to prevent them from becoming involved in gangs.

Bronwyn Williams, the founder of Julia’s Amazing Grace, a non-profit that runs a soup kitchen in Ocean View, said she and volunteer Janine Hammer had learned a lot from the agriculture course.

“We can now secure our own foods and teach the kids and adults that come to the soup kitchen how to plant and grow their own vegetables. I am very grateful to Mr Richards for organising this and for always being keen to help his community,” Ms Williams said.

Teagon Klein, the chairman of the Ocean View Civic Association and founder of Handprints Community Upliftment Project, a daycare centre, said agriculture played a critical role in the life of any economy.

“When I see the word ‘agriculture’, I see the backbone of a community. This course taught me a lot of things I never knew, and I have gained so much knowledge that I can now share with others.”

He said the daycare centre planned to start a community garden.

SAIE manager Fadia Richards said they wanted to unleash the entrepreneurial potential of all South Africans.

“Developing skills and unlocking mindsets is what we do. Our simulation-based products and unique teaching methodology are exactly what is needed in our communities,” she said.

South African Institute of Entrepreneurs (SAIE) facilitator Jasmine Mazwi preparing for the agriculture course for the youth in Ocean View.