The effects of COVID-19 did not only leave many families without their loved ones, but its economic impact left families unable to fend for themselves.
South Africa’s ever increasing unemployment rate skyrocketed in recent months following retrenchments and closure of businesses caused by the COVID-19 deadly scourge.
While government relief’s effort of grocery packs and unemployment fund to aid those heavily affected played somewhat role in the process, more was needed as the impact was severe.
Coming to the rescue is the Green Development Foundation, a non-profit entity plying its trade in the agricultural and engineering sectors. The Kempton Park-based company under the TELFA Group founded and chaired by Mr Mulalo Ntendani Thabela, launched an innovative concept called FURA which seeks to bridge the poverty and unemployment gap to creating a sustainable solution for food security at a household level.
FURA is a Venda word which means to be satisfied in English.
The launch of this impactful campaign took place on Saturday, 26 September during momentous occasion packed with hive of exhilarating activities.
This prestigious and energizing event kick started with an awareness walk for FURA at the Modderfontein Trail Run where company employees, ambassadors and partners geared up in themed wear and took on the grueling walk under unforgivingly hot conditions. After navigating around the trafficked loop trail, the brave men and women travelled back to the headquarters where the formalities were observed with a mix of entertainment by Buti Green (the organization’s mascot), lunch and refreshments.
Speaking of this campaign was the benevolence MrThabela, the brains behind this philanthropy.
He said: “After COVID-19 we realized there was a bigger gap in terms of the provision of food amongst the masses of the country. But we also realized it was key to come up with a solution that will be more sustainable in terms of addressing food security in the country.”
“We launched FURA with the aim of maximizing food at a household level.”
Thabela also shared how one can contribute towards the FURA SMS campaign.
“You SMS FURA to 48991 which is an SMS that charges only R10 each,” he said.
Another way to contribute, he said is by donating your old shoes of which they will plant flowers in and sell them to plough back into the FURA project.
He also mentioned that individuals and organization who wish to go over and above the minimum contribution are also welcomed to by inquiring their banking details.
“Green Development Foundation is a non-profit entity and all that is donated goes into addressing our programmes,” he clarified.
Out of this programme, the organization listed the following beneficiaries; Clayoven, Msawawa, Kysands, Lion Park, Eskom (Itsoseng), Plot89, Video, Tshesampama, Diepsloot, Honeydew, Laezonia, Bridge, Cultera, which all were identified due to their obvious poverty conditions.
Thabela also cited that instead of distributing food packs to these communities, they came up with an even better concept for the purpose of sustainability.
“Compared to going around and giving away food parcels, we realized we needed to give them something sustainable, so we decided to come up with a concept called Nutrition in a Bucket where we putting in multiple types of veggies in a bucket. The reason for this is because most townships don’t have space to plant crops but if they have a bucket or two to do so they can plant their own crops to feed their families,” he explained.
Thabela also indicated that the FURA stretches beyond the townships. “This concept goes as far as to your homelands. And on homeland we are already lobbying with local municipalities to get land that we can use to go out and produce veggies or different crops. And the exciting part about this concept is that we are working with women-owned corporatives. We are looking at a minimum of five hectares where we aim to produce various crops to address sustainability and economic sustenance as these crops can also be sold in the markets,” he detailed.
The bigger vision for this concept, according to Thabela is to reach each and every corner of South Africa and the SADC region, including neighbouring Zimbabwe.