Lukhanyo and Resilient Civic and Design Collective (RCDC) in partnership with various stakeholders are on a mission to create an educational hub at Intlanganiso High School in Site C.
These two organisations have partnered to redefine the outlook at the school with the hope that it would benefit the entire community of Site C and its surrounds.
The first phase of their mission was to create a food garden at the school in an effort to use open spaces effectively and productively.
But they also aimed to change the narrative and negative perception about food gardens.
The freshly produced vegetables are sold in the markets, in the community and the rest is given to the school.
The second phase was building an Astro turf at the back of the school.
Now they are installing water systems with the aim of cutting the extensive school’s water bill and the organisations are also hoping to install flood lights at the field so that it could be used at night.
However, their ultimate goal is to build a state-of-the-art centre at the school, which could create employment.
The centre would offer space to rent for NGOs and create a market spaces for hawkers.
But for them to accomplish this task, they need to raise about R45 million.
Next month they will be launching a funding strategy. Lukhanyo manager, Jeremy Jones, said the garden was established in 2015 and was aimed at inculcating a culture of food gardening in the community.
But he said the garden was part of the bigger plan of creating a hub in the school and they were starting one phase at time.
However, he said vandalism and theft had been a challenge over the past few years.
Mr Jones said the school and community were excited about their initiative and plan for the school.
He said they wanted to teach the pupils about farming and introduce the business side of farming.
“We want this project to speak to the needs of our people. We want to pupils to learn everything from the centre. We want to shape people’s thinking and create a place for the residents of Site C. We want Intlanganiso to be a hive of activities,” he said.
RCDC director, Benjamin Manfield, said they discovered that the school has an abundance of unused land and the question was how it could be used in the best interests of the community.
He said the land at the back of the school had not been used since it was built and that’s where they wanted to build the centre.
He said it was clear that the land could be used for the benefit of the pupils and the community.
Mr Manfield said they convinced the school and various departments from the government to pump funds into building the soccer field in 2017.
He said they then worked on a plan to understand the needs of the community because the needs change all the time.
The idea of creating a community hub, which would be self-sustainable and would not rely on donors and government to exist, came about .
This hub, he said, should also seek to speak to the different needs of the schools around Site C.
“We want to create a hub that makes an impact in the community. We want to bring more services to the school. We want to ensure that the hub could be utilised effectively. We want to reduce the school’s water bill through other interventions. We want these resources to be shared among schools nearby,” he said.