The prestigious Eco-Logic Awards ceremony took place last night via Livestream,where Abalimi
Bezekhaya took home the Eco-Community Award. These awards which have taken place annually since
2011, celebrate South Africa’s environmental champions and give recognition to individuals,
organisations and communities that positively contribute towards a sustainable world.
Each year, organisations submit their eco-logical products, services, projects or initiatives under 12 environmental award categories. The Eco-Community Award, which this year was proudly sponsored by Dis-Chem, celebrates a community which has acted collectively to protect, preserve, or restore the earth’s life forms, eco-systems, or natural resources. Dis-Chem has recently embarked on making its customers and beneficiaries journeys to greener living easier. According to Lynette Saltzman, MD of Dis-Chem, “we believe that it’s our responsibility to live an environmentally friendly life in order to sustain our planet for future generations. This is why we were so passionate about getting involved with the Eco-Logic Awards and sponsoring the Eco-Community Award.”
The winners of the various award categories were announced at last night’s event, and the winner of the Eco-Community Award was Abalimi Bezekhaya. Its core business is based on providing training to small scale farmers, providing access to seeds, seedlings and manure for production, providing support around capital infrastructure such as irrigation and manure for soil building, and providing access to market to allow farmers to sell surplus vegetables.
The organisation was established in 1992 and promotes small scale urban farming, striving to support individuals and groups from disadvantaged communities in Cape Town to recognise the link between their survival, health and the active improvement of their environment so that they have the confidence to initiate, replicate and sustain food growing and greening activities. The organisation believes that these actions furthermore act as an entry point to other development activities that can improve lives.
Its rationale is that by forming grassroots associations and networks, members will actively seek out and lobby for resources and support, which will strengthen their self-help initiatives in their home environments. The majority of its target group lives in Cape Town’s townships, where over a million people reside, mostly in shacks and matchbox houses. Approximately 40% of these people are unemployed, which is why it is so important to give them this life changing skill.
” Dis-Chem is delighted that Abalimi Bezekhaya is the recipient of the award for this category. It is through this winning effort that we strive to sustain our planet and keep it safe for future generations, and we find this extremely gratifying. Furthermore, the fact that this organisation was chosen as a winner aligns so well with the Dis-Chem Foundation which has long focused passionately about feeding those in need,” said Saltzman.
Winning an Eco-Logic award changes lives by not only giving winners the prestige attached to it, but also exposure which they would never have received beforehand. This provides small organisations publicity and media coverage which they probably would never have been able to afford, and allows them to broaden awareness of their initiatives, which further motivates local communities, as well as international companies, to get involved and provide support and assistance.
Rob Small, co-founder of Abalimi Bezekhaya said that they are so grateful to be chosen as a winner of this award, as they will have the amazing opportunity to showcase what they do, who they help and their results and achievements.