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Earth Day 2014, on 25 April brought green abundance as Food & Trees for Africa launched the organic sustainable food garden that was developed in partnership with LegalWise at Sizwile School for Deaf Children.The initiative addresses the scourge of food security and in so doing joined millions of people around the world who are mobilising for a greener planet. 

The theme of Earth Day 2014 was “green cities” and called on citizens of the world to take action towards a more sustainable and healthy environment. More than half of South Africa’s population live in urban areas – 12 million of whom are living in Gauteng.  Food & Trees for Africa has been striving towards a greener and more sustainable environment for over 20 years and this is only possible through the commitment and support of partners such as LegalWise. 

Achieving food security in a high density urban area is challenging and through training and support, the Sizwile School for Deaf Children has been able to both green their environment and start feeding learners from the school garden.  

A dedicated and hardworking group of volunteers strive daily to keep the garden full of food which benefits so many learners. On Earth Day the garden was boosted with support from additional volunteers from LegalWise. 

Lesley Haynes, CSI Manager at LegalWise says: “We recognise the importance of healthy food and nutrition for the development of the learners. We feel that by mobilising sustainable environmental initiatives we contribute towards promoting a healthier environment and more food-secure future for the community.” 
On the day, the students from Sizwile performed various dance routines to thank LegalWise for the support. The team from LegalWise and Food & Trees for Africa enjoyed a day in the garden working together to extend the garden and plant a variety of herbs. These herbs will be used for cooking and medicinal purposes. 

Urban environments are affected by global climate change in ways that can devastate infrastructure and when this happens it can destroy gardens and therefore livelihoods.  The training given to urban food gardeners is crucial to local food security. Community groups learn about rain water harvesting, organic practices and how to best manage in extreme weather events. The Sizwile garden has been established as a living example of what can be done in an urban environment with limited resources.

“There is just a handful of people who work in this garden on a daily basis and I am astounded at how much they are able to achieve,” says FTFA Ecopreneur Funboy Sebele. “I am proud to stand with LegalWise and acknowledge the commitment of the volunteers – this day really will mean the Earth to them.”