Aachen Greening Award (2001-2005)

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The Aachen Greening Award supported Cape Town based projects that promoted greening and gardening in a sustainable manner and followed ecological and social development principles that promote poverty alleviation. The award was given to several organisations from 2001 – 2005. The amount of applicants and the quality of applications rose continuously in the first three years – in 2003 there were 15 qualified applications. In the following two years the interest of South African organisation dropped dramatically, so the two partner organisations SEED and Stadtoasen (City oasis) who organised the award project decided to stop it.

Winners

The Sosebenza Youth Group won the award in 2001, which enabled them to develop a community nursery at their youth centre. With the cultivation and selling of local vegetables they created three jobs for the community and a better quality living environment. Through this project Sosebenza Youth Group made a contribution to the sustainable development of their township, as well as it’s ecological and social upliftment. They were based at Masiphumelele, a township close to Fish Hoek in Cape Town. Sosebenza received the amount of R14500 (5000 DM).

Eastville Primary School in Mitchell’s Plain won the award in 2002 for their community food garden. The school is a lighthouse of hope in the middle of this gang-ridden area. The food garden provides soup for the learners, and this is often their only meal for the day. By providing these meals the learners are encouraged to stay at the school and not join up with the gangs. With over a thousand learners at the school the initial food garden was not sufficient and the prize money was used to expand the food garden.

In addition to this, learners were also encouraged to work in the garden, and although they do not get paid in cash, they received food parcels. Soil-for-life is a Cape Town based organisation that has been providing guidance to the school. They assisted with restructuring the gardens so that more intensive planting could be done in a more efficient way to save water and soil space. The school received the amount of R14000 (1500 Euro), which was handed over by the Aachen delegation during their visit in March 2003.

During 2003 it was decided that the award should not be granted to only one organisation and Stadtoasen identified the following four organisations:

First place, Mitchell´s Plain Disability Forum
Second place, Montana Primary
Third place, the Future Factory
Special recognition, Rocklands Primary

Mitchell’s Plain Disability Forum, who received R 8000, used this money to establish a food garden at the Weltevreden Recreation Center, which supplies food to the disabled people in the community.

Montana Primary School received R 6000 for their permaculture food garden project at their school. The food garden supplies food for learners, as well as the volunteers from the Kalksteenfontein Environmental Group.

Future Factory, received R 4000 for their innovative project that uses old and discarded tyres as water catching systems, planters and vegetable planting trays. They combine this with the cultivation of Canadian Earthworms that accelerate the organic process and promote healthy vegetables. This project was implemented as a partnership project at Montana Primary School.

Rocklands Primary School received R 2000, to use for planting indigenous trees as part of their school recreational area.

In 2004 because of a lack of applications only a Special Award was granted to CNF (Community Network Forum) for their project “10000 trees for Khayelitsha”. During the Bauwagen project at Zenzeleni Primary School in December the Award and R 5000 was given to the CEO of CNF, Solomon Cedile. A huge amount of trees could be planted with that donation.

After another difficult application process in 2005 it was decided to honour the work of W.D.-Hendricks-Primary-School in Kensington, where just 7 teachers have to take care of around 300 learners. The school had already established a huge vegetable garden to provide the learners with a fresh vegetable soup during the day. The Greening Award was used to solve their water supply problem. They received R 5000 and bought a 3000 litre rainwater tank with pipes and rain gutters for their garden.