Gordons Bay Education Centre & Charity HQ Building Project Blog
Courtesy of corporate sponsorship and a record-breaking Minecraft livestream fundraising event, SOS Africa has recently purchased land and buildings in Gordon’s Bay, Western Cape. Over the coming months, these buildings and land will undergo a complete transformation into a new education centre and charity headquarters ready to launch in January 2022. The team have created this blog so that you can follow us every step of the way…
Edible Garden Preparations: July 2021
The Garden preparation is well underway as we eagerly await the arrival of Spring!
We have set up our own ‘composting station’ which is made up of four bays. There will be a rotation system of areas for new kitchen waste, garden waste and then some parts completely set aside to decompose. It’s a beautiful and fine art making rich nourishing soils for our vegetables. Our greatest help with this decomposing process will come from some lovely worms (still yet to arrive!)
Next up we made TEN raised beds, maximising every inch of space the garden offers us. We were fortunate enough to even have some very willing helpers who really enjoyed drilling the planks together. Before fitting them into place and levelling them off we treated the wood with an eco paint. We certainly don’t want any nasty chemicals seeping into our delicious produce.
Finally and perhaps most importantly WE NEED WATER! Justin and Patrick from Project Pumps set us up with an incredible rainwater harvesting, backwash tank and irrigation system. Not a drop of water will be wasted.
We are so excited to fill these beds up with lovely soil and yummy vegetables...
Edible Garden Research Trip - 7th July 2021
We decided that it was essential to involve the children in as many different development stages of our Gordon's Bay Education Centre Building Project as possible... The edible garden being the very first! So, in preparation, our gardener Enock and a few keen SOS Africa children visited Food Forest Farm to learn from an expert, Farmer Hannes.
The children were captivated by the experience and enjoyed taking part in some day to day activities on the farm. One of the most important lessons Hannes taught us was soil health, explaining the intricacies of soil microbes and adding organic nutrients when planting. Finally we moved onto the most vital and fascinating element, making your own compost. Each child had a go with shredding vegetables and meeting the worms who are instrumental in breaking down all the organic matter. In just a few hours they learnt so much about the entire process and quickly began making requests for our new garden and 'composting station'.
It is our intention to involve the SOS children in every stage in the garden from the sowing of our first seedlings right through to the moment the fresh fruit and veg are harvested and prepared in the SOS Africa kitchen! Ultimately, learning from these processes will empower them with knowledge about health and nutrition for plants, their bodies, their environment and maybe even their own edible gardens one day.
We would like to say a huge thank you to Farmer Hannes from Food Forest Farm for being such a great host and for sharing his invaluable farming knowledge and experience with us all.
We hope we make him proud!
*To any locals in the Cape we highly recommend you order your delicious organic fruit and vegetable from Hannes!
This exciting and ambitious project all began late last year when we received an incredibly generous donation from a corporate sponsor. At the time, we were looking to expand our scope of support beyond our existing education centres and establish a regional headquarters in a central location to oversee all our Western Cape projects. Before long, the ideal site had been identified and purchased.
Though the location was ideal and the property with its 1400m2 of land had huge potential, we were aware that significant investment would be required to transform it into a fully functional education centre and charity headquarters. Cue the amazing Hermitcraft community…
A year on from a ground-breaking livestream event which funded hundreds of thousands of meals for disadvantaged communities in South Africa, Minecraft celebrities Rendog and Grian returned with Scar and Bdubs to host a repeat event to raise funds for this life-changing facility. After a unforgettable 4 hour livestream marathon, watched by hundreds of thousands of Hermitcraft followers worldwide, 5000 generous donors raised £100,000 for this renovation project. A further £12,000 raised for SOS Africa's COVID-19 Emergency Food Relief Fund.
With this formidable fundraising effort completed, it is now over to our design team and building crews to turn this exciting vision into a reality. This will be built to a high sustainable and environmental standard and when completed, will facilitate:
- A catering kitchen to provide 1000 weekly meals
- New classrooms and tutor rooms for high school and adult learning
- An edible garden to provide healthy nourishment
- 4 additional learning spaces
- Accommodation for children in need of respite
We cannot wait to get started and share updates with you along the way...