28 October 2020 is World Sustainability Day, where we take responsibility for our planet, but also consider how we live without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. We have to acknowledge that the responsibility of living sustainably falls squarely on all of our shoulders. In a community setting, where survival is first priority, sustainability can be an afterthought. But Clover’s Mama Afrika’s are passionate about creating sustainable communities.
The Clover Mama Afrika’s have made it their duty to ensure their communities are looked after and they do this through sustainable efforts such as egg-laying projects and piggeries. The projects not only generate income for the Mamas, but provide necessary food sources to their communities as well as create jobs for community members. The overall impact is a community whose needs are being met with the additional benefit of grass roots job creation.
Thanks to these projects, the Mamas were not affected as harshly during the first levels of lockdown as they were able to continue selling their eggs to members in their various communities, as eggs are classified as a necessity item.
Clover Mama Afrika is a sustainable Corporate Social Investment project that has been in existence since 2004 and the project has hosted 3417 training sessions with over 2241 beneficiaries over the years, in order to upskill ‘mamas’ all across the country. There are many varieties of projects within the initiative, but egg-laying and piggeries form part of the programme and have proved to be successful for many of the Mamas. For example, those Mamas who have egg-laying projects sell the chickens used in their egg-laying projects every 18 months, as broilers for meat, and they then replace the egg laying chickens with young ones again. This allows them to continue providing only the best for their community.
Mama Doris Ndingane of Keiskammahoek and Mama Thokozile Ndlovu of Ixopo both have egg-laying projects and piggeries that they use to supply to their community on a weekly basis. Mama Nondumiso Mpitimpiti of Amalinda Forest and Mama Phomolo Raisa of Botshabelo each have an egg-laying project that they work passionately at to keep successful and to ensure they are able to provide for their community and their needs.
The egg-laying projects employ two members per centre with every Mama starting out with 200 chickens (the size of the battery set up). It is one of the most consistent projects and provides affordable eggs for the various communities. In addition, the egg-laying projects have the added benefit of saving the Mamas a lot of money when it comes to their baking projects. From when the egg-laying project started in 2013 there have been a total of 16 individual training beneficiaries, a total of 57 skills transferred and a total of 8 employed permanently.
“Our Clover Mama Afrikas are extremely passionate about their projects and their communities. They continuously go above and beyond to ensure they have centres and projects they can be proud of and that are sustainable, because they have communities that rely on them tremendously. I am excited to see how our Clover Mama Afrikas continue to grow their egg-laying projects and piggeries and work at being sustainable in their communities, every small step forward is a distance gained,” explains Prof Elain Vlok, Clover Manager, Clover Mama Afrika Trust.