Consol Glass donated 4 500 Consol glass jars to the rural farm women who live on the Middelpos farm in Malmesbury in the Western Cape as part of a development initiative. The glass jars will be used to preserve produce that is grown on the farm and sold to create an additional sustainable income source for the Middelpos farm community.
“We are excited to continue our relationship with the Middelpos community and hopeful that this donation will be able to kick-start a viable income opportunity for unemployed community members,” said Cleo Madini, Marketing Officer, Consol Glass.
Francisce Dreyer, owner of Soefija’s Deli Products, joined hands with Consol Glass in this initiative by providing training to the unemployed women, elderly and disabled on Middelpos and surrounding farms on how to preserve produce grown on the farms.
Middelpos is a 60ha farm that was bought by the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform in 2012 as part of their land reform programme. In 2015, the families signed a 30-year lease agreement with the government and formed the Middelpos Communal Property Association, which is endeavouring to turn the farm into a viable agri-business.
The produce that is grown in the 0.5ha community food garden helps to feed 47 rural farm children and youth, 15 women and six men daily. The same food garden provides weekly vegetables to 65 rural farm households on 10 different farms.
“Consol Glass’s donation of 4 500 glass jars will ensure that our vegetables last longer and add value to the food garden. By learning how to preserve the vegetables, we are transferring skills that will help to create an additional income source for the sustainability of the Middelpos farm but more importantly, we are restoring dignity and hope to this community,” says Ingrid Lestrade, Director of the Inspire Children and Youth Trust, an NPO that implements sustainable development strategies, systems and support to unlock the potential of rural communities.
Children in the community, who call themselves INSPIREpreneurs, sell the vegetables to surrounding communities. “The funds raised are used for school support, life skills sessions, extra-mural activity costs and entrepreneurial training in the children’s programme,” says Lestrade.
Consol previously donated 300 Consol Solar Jars and food parcels to the Inspire Children and Youth Trust for distribution to the families who live on the Middelpos farm, bringing much needed access to light to the families who rely on contributions and small projects to sustain their daily living as they work to resuscitate the farm.