Soil for Life take a hike

Time of article published Aug 26, 2008

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Soil for Life is a Cape Town non-profit organisation that teaches home gardeners and whole communities to grow their own food.

They are one of the few organisations I know that cross the divide between rich and poor: their weekend courses aimed at suburbanites wanting to grow their own food help fund their vegetable gardens and development work in needy communities.

Now they are pushing the local fundraising envelope with a great idea based on overseas charity challenges:

"We have decided to pilot a concept that is popular in the United Kingdom and Europe, where donors combine a holiday with fundraising. You are invited to join us in our first ever Charity Adventure Hike! It will take place from 2nd to 8th October at Marrick Safari in the Northern Cape, situated on 3 000 hectares of pristine savannah. By raising R10 000, you will cover the full cost of your participation as well as make a generous contribution to Soil for Life's work."

If you are a keen hiker the idea is that you raise funds by getting friends, family and businesses to sponsor your excursion into the wild.

You then spend three days trekking and two days rafting down the Orange River near Kimberly. You get to tramp, along with guides, through unspoilt Bushveld and look out for Gemsbok, Eland, Springbok, Zebra, Giraffe and other animal as well as enjoy an abundant bird life.

You commit to raising a minimum of R10 000 for the trip and Soil for Life provide the tools and resources you need to help with fundraising. R5000 will go to the adventure organisers, Marrick, for the cost of the trip and any additional funds raised will go directly to Soil for Life projects.

A bonus is that you get to spend this time in the outdoors with Pat Featherstone, the director of Soil for Life, so you will get first hand knowledge of the organisation, the projects as well as insider gardening tips!

If hiking is not your thing there are many other ways you can help Soil for Life:

  • sponsor some-one else you know to participate in the hike.

  • donate to help a deserving Soil for Life member or community worker join the hike

  • attend a Soil for Life food growing workshop; see their garden and be amazed

  • help SfL with a cash donation: As little as R5 will cover the cost of one packet of seed that has the potential to generate R300 or more!

    I went on a Soil for Life workshop a few years ago and Pat's knowledge and positivity are staggering. If you're sitting on the fence about whether or not to grow your own, or feel you don't have the skills then this is definitely the workshop that will get you growing.

    This article was first published on Urban Sprout and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5 License

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