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Umthathi Training Project


Umthathi is an education and training organisation based in Grahamstown, serving the communities living in the townships around the town and in rural areas for a 200km radius. They aim to improve household health by providing key skills in food growing, making effective and sustainable use of available resources and developing self sufficiency. Soweto Connection supports their work in school and community gardens.

In the Eastern Cape, fresh vegetables can be grown successfully for ten months of the year. They can provide essential nutrition to vulnerable people. In a population where so many have HIV/Aids good nutrition is more important than ever. On a very simple level, the anti-retroviral medication provided by the government is only effective if taken with food. Umthati help groups of households to come together and set up community gardens. They provide fencing, seeds and advice, and help to provide a market for excess produce which funds reinvestment in the gardens for the following growing season.

Soweto Connection have been working with Umthati since 2004, when John began volunteering on the school garden programme.

Soweto Connection raises funds in Ireland for South African community-based groups that are working with people affected by HIV/AIDS. The money collected makes urgent treatment available to HIV/AIDS patients, provides home-based care to sufferers, and assists in HIV/AIDS prevention services.

All donations are gratefully accepted, and all money goes directly to helping AIDs victims and their families.