By Munyaradzi Thulani Nkomo; Edited by Katie Hackett
Mrs. Doris Mokubung is a community member in Orange Farm who refuses to be intimidated by the erratic weather patterns that have tormented the area for the past ten years.
She’s one of six members in the Perseverance Cooperative. The group started in 2008 with a goal to grow fruits and vegetables to sell, while feeding families nutritious food.
With World Vision’s partnership, they were able to register as an official cooperative with the government. That means they now get technical advice from the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. The same department provided the group with a hydroponic structure for their garden.
Mrs. Mokubung and her colleagues took advantage of a two-hectare space available at a local primary school. With the water supply from two nearby wells, the formerly brown area is quickly becoming a green belt where vegetables, including cabbage, onions and spinach, are being cultivated.
Give families a source of income and nutrition with agriculture training, seeds and tools.
The cooperative supplies their produce to a local market. Training on branding and packaging has taken their product to another level, so now they’ve caught the attention of retail stores as well.
“We also supply Pick n Pay, the local supermarket,” Mrs. Mokubung explains. “The extra [produce] we supply to the school.”
In addition, the group gives healthy fruits and veggies to orphanages that have feeding programs in the community .
Mrs. Mokubung can’t hide the joy she’s found in this work, which has not only changed her day-to-day life but supplied an income source as well.
“[With] the income I get from the project, I put food on the table for my kids, I buy clothes and help pay school fees for my child who is at Vaal University of Technology,” she says with a wide smile in her face. “It was my pleasure to be with World Vision.”