#WATWB

It’s the last Friday of the month – how quickly it comes by – and time for a shot of inspiring stories around the globe. This time round I haven’t provided the link; the story is in full. The idea is to spread good will, to show an individual or community in action and how this makes a positive impact. It is a lovely way of humanity showing its positive side among all the doom and gloom that is pretty pervasive. The names and places may seem unpronounceable; these are local South African women from up north where it is dry and dusty and riddled with poverty.

A woman concerned about hungry children in her community, decided to make a difference.

Women from the We Can Women’s Cooperative with the produce from their food garden.

After getting married in 1996, Esther Masekoameng (60) moved from Phalaborwa to Mathibaskraal in Limpopo, but she was shocked by the level of poverty in her new hometown.

“IT WASN’T LIKE PHALABORWA. PEOPLE ARE VERY POOR HERE AND THE CHILDREN AT THE SCHOOL WERE LEARNING UNDER THE TREES.”

Most of the pupils didn’t bring lunch to school and because the school was near to her house, Esther began to make soup for them and also started to sell vetkoek.

“THE CHILDREN WHO COULD AFFORD TO BUY LUNCH PAID 10 CENTS FOR A VETKOEK AND THE OTHERS, WHO WERE TOO POOR GOT FREE VEGETABLE SOUP.”

The unemployment and poverty in Mathibaskraal worsened over the years, and in 2006, Esther decided to approach the school principal to expand her garden to cater for more learners. “I knew that if I had a little help, I would be able to grow more vegetables and make more soup for those in need, so when the principal agreed, I asked some of the older ladies in the community to help and that’s how we started. We also give vegetables and seedlings to the crèche in our area.”

Women from the We Can Women’s Cooperative – (aren’t their smiles lovely!)

Esther used the funds from the sale of vetkoek (dough, fried in oil, sweetened) to buy a variety of seedlings for the We Can Women’s Cooperative, which was formally established in 2018. She also bought chilli seedlings and started to sell chillies to the grocery shop in town.

The Shoprite Group has been supporting community food gardens for a number of years. Its implementation partner, Food & Trees for Africa (FTFA), assess existing gardens to better understand their requirements and Shoprite then assists with the necessary tools, training, infrastructure and seedlings.

Shoprite is enabling the We Can Women’s Cooperative to grow its community food garden by providing proper water infrastructure.

Shoprite’s support also enabled Esther to erect a fence around the garden and for the team of nine women to receive extensive gardening training.

“WHEN WE DON’T HAVE ACCESS TO WATER, OUR CROPS SUFFER. THIS YEAR, WE WEREN’T ABLE TO SELL CHILIES FOR TWO MONTHS BECAUSE WE DIDN’T HAVE WATER. WE ARE LOOKING FORWARD TO HAVING A PROPER WATER SUPPLY AND WE’RE ALSO EXCITED TO LEARN NEW GARDENING SKILLS LIKE COMPANION PLANTING AND COMPOSTING TO MAKE OUR GARDEN MORE SUCCESSFUL.”

Our thanks to our co-hosts this month. Do pop by them, their posts are sure to be wonderful. Please share on social media.

Sylvia McGrath, Lizbeth Hartz, Shilpa Garg, Mary Giese, and Belinda Witzenhausen

If you’d like to be part of the WE ARE THE WORLD BLOGFEST, please sign up in the linky list that opens up in a new window:

Click HERE to be part of the Light.

Thank you for reading and have a great November!

57 Comments on #WATWB – planting seeds of hope

  1. Susan, Thank you for sharing the positive side of humanity, yet opening our eyes to the poverty. You remind me how water supply affects everything. You also remind me how one person can make a difference. Yes, their smiles are lovely. 🙂 An inspirational post, Susan, filled with hope.

  2. A lovely story, and a reminder of the good people in the world.
    I wonder if the Shoprite you mention is connected with ShopRite here? I usually do my shopping at the local ShopRite.

    • Thanks Merril for coming by – I did a QUICK search to try to determine if there is any link between the US Shoprite and SA but it’s not clear. Here, it’s certainly a huge company worth billions that has made inroads into other parts of Africa.

  3. All around the world there are caring, kind people. More often, the news offers us reports of crime and mischief from minor to major. It’s a good reminder that WATWB brings us to replace the bad with the good. Thanks, Susan.

    • Thanks for coming by John … we can definitely get overwhelmed by all the skullduggery that happens all.the.time. These little shots of good remind us that kindness rules and keep us balanced 🙂

      • Sorry about the mikdog graphic John. My son Mike hosts the gardenofedenblog. I used my ipad to respond and blow me down up came his graphic in my reply to you. So now I’m on my laptop 🙂

  4. Inspiring, Susan. Thank you. I hope Esther Masekoameng and the other women gardeners and providers of food for children were able to read this. Thanks for reminding me of the small things that matter so much. Well fed kids learn well.

    • I really hope that Esther Masekoameg and her fellow gardeners get to hear that they were ‘in the news’. I’m pretty sure the source of the news would have let them know. It’s also so well known that a hungry child is at a huge disadvantage in every way especially with regard to learning .., Thanks so much for coming by Elaine and have a great week 🙂

  5. Hi Susan – this is so good to read … brilliant ladies with cheerful smiles – and giving of their time to help the poverty in their neighbourhood. The veggies look amazing … while it’s a great idea to sew seeds to help improve the children’s diets, giving them extra energy to absorb their lessons, and grow stronger … excellent – thanks for this … cheers Hilary

    • Thanks Hilary for coming by and glad you liked the post and those lovely smiles! I agree those veggies look scrumptious .. some strong healthy spinach there for the Oilve Oyl’s and Popeyes of future generations 🙂 Hope all good there with you, Susan

      • Now I have a network, and then get my computer back – not related in outages as such … but does throw one. It’s damp, very! and I’m behind … but am taking November off from the blog – well that’s the theory … I’ll do Remembrance Day as it’s 100 years … and I’ll do Halloween, and then #WATWB at end November … good to see you here and to be in touch … cheers Hilary

          • Yes … about to watch, or keep a very keen eye open!! England did well yesterday … actually today I’m drawn … SA or Wales! Cheers H

              • I’m sure I heard you yelling … but that’s fine … it’ll be fun – and yes I’ll be watching … I suspect I’ll be on the side of the English … though in the ‘old days’ I was always tempted to be divided … look forward to seeing you next weekend … always a winner then?! cheers H xo

  6. These kinds of stories make me wonder why more women aren’t in positions of power, making decisions that will benefit communities. I don’t think we’d have such widespread poverty and lack of ADLs if women had a voice in how things were managed. Lovely post, Susan. xo

    • Thanks for coming by Pam … women are slowly but surely rising up among the ranks in politics and business here in SA. The less fortunate are recognised also by business as in Shoprite empowering Esther and her We Can Women’s Cooperative. GP rules! (Girl Power) What, pray tell, is ADL? I think I should know but the only thing I can come up with, is Advanced Distance Learning – help me out here please. 🙂 x

      • Activities of Daily Living!
        Your article made me remember I have money to re-lend on Kiva, Susan. Do you know about Kiva? It’s micro-financing and it helps people mostly in developing countries, but others also, to get small loans to do whatever, start or improve their business, install indoor plumbing in their house, buy a goat, etc. It’s fascinating and so hopeful and helpful. 😘

        • I certainly know of micro-lending Pam where women are loaned the money to start up small businesses. The money is given to the women in preference to the men who use it for drink or whatever. I remember something in the news some years back that a lovely man in India of Africa started this up very successfully. I’ll look up Kiva .. thank you! ADL. And HALW 🙂 Have a lovely week 🙂

    • Thanks Donna! I’m always happy to post on our extraordinary people in SA. I wonder if I would have the nous to do such a thing … Hope you’re happy with the Canadian election results?

  7. What a wonderful, inspiring post! Thank you Susan for sharing this uplifting #WATWB story. It truly polished my heart to read of such love and devotion by these beautiful, kind-hearted women, all rightly concerned about hungry children in their village … leaving me wondering what I could do for local families in my town, who are financially struggling too.

    Then I thought, here I am reading about “seeds of hope” and this is what you do here at #WATWB … blow your seeds of hope and light into darkness all across the world. A thought-provoking and inspirational post, keep up the good work! Looking forward to reading the others posts. Loved the photos! Warm autumnal (and spring-like) wishes, Deborah.

    • You’re right Deborah, the #WATWB posts do plant seeds of hope 🙂 I hadn’t thought of it like that. It’s an amazing initiative started by Damyanti Biswas and Belinda Witzenhausen many months ago – at a guess I’d say 30 months ago, and they certainly restore my faith in ordinary humanity. Plus, the ideas are so great. Not just ideas – they’re implemented. Necessity is the mother/father of invention which meets the need –

      If you want to check out #WATWB posts, suggest you do a google search using that hashtag, you won’t be disappointed.(I don’t think any of the commentators so far are part of this).

      Have a lovely weekend and thank you for coming by. You’re always a breath of fresh air 🙂

      • Ha ha, no sooner had I sent you my response and said about no commentators so far on my post are part of the #WATWB community than I received a response above. It had to happen – speaking too soon!

  8. I support this idea wholeheartedly! Just minutes ago, I read Debby Gies’ post about repurposing old school buses as tiny homes.

    This season, my grandchildren and I will decide to help fund a project in a needy part of the world through Samaritan’s Purse. Last year, grandson Ian chose helping to provide well water. This year, Jenna will get a turn to chose. We must teach the next generation to care and show that with action.

    Thanks for “airing” this most noble project, Susan!

    • Thanks for coming by Marian. I love that in the US children get involved in community projects and that it is expected that they will. It happens here in SA too but it is not the children who give so freely of their time. Some do, but it’s more the adults, our unsung heroes.

      Do you have any idea what Jenna will choose? There’s a lovely post up on the #WATWB about people donating clothes, sandals, shoes etc to a mental institute in Australia which makes a huge difference to patients, who feel a zillion times better getting out of their hospital gowns ..

      Have a lovely weekend!

  9. A great story but one that does give me pause. To not have water when all your dreams are based on growing plants, well– that’s a problem that only brave women like these could overcome with such a positive attitude.

    • Thanks for coming by Ally Bean – cause for pause indeed. If they get their water infrastructure sorted this will be a great help to them. SA is in the grip of a drought right now, though Cape Town (about 600 kms away) is being flooded as I write, and Johannesburg (about 1500 kms from where I live) is going to get their very late rains from tomorrow on. A little further up north is Limpopo who I hope will get good soaking nourishing rains. Have a lovely weekend 🙂

  10. What a wonderful group of women making a difference to one community, Susan. Actions like theirs change the world one step at a time. If every community had such giving people, what a wonderful world it would be.
    And thank you so much for your post, Susan. Now I have the links to share mine. I don’t find it as convenient now without the email, but I’m sure it’s more convenient for the organisers. I’ve never been sure about the Linky thing. Do you do it just once, the first time, or do you do each time? I only did it the first time. Now we are meant to put the links to our posts in the Facebook group, aren’t we?

    • One step at a time, I agree Norah. Thanks for coming by.
      I checked on the linky list, you are no.48. I note your post for this month is not up (just in case you think it is?) Yes, I’ve just put up my link in the FB group … I battle each time, this time round I took the easy way out with a link to my blog adding ‘planting seeds for hope’. My #WATWB post is the last one I’ve put up so it goes straight to that …

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