August 2019 saw the launch of another Food and Trees for Africa, Trees for Homes project, thanks to the generous support of Ackermans. The community of Hammarsdale, Kwa-Zulu Natal, received a donation of 750 fruit trees to be planted at residents’ houses through FTFA’s Trees for Homes programme. On the 8th August 2019, 375 community members were invited to collect their 2 fruit trees and a bag of compost each at a distribution event held at the Sizakhala Centre in Hammarsdale. These 750 fruit trees represent a significant contribution by Ackermans towards establishing long-term food security and enhanced nutrition and health in the Hammarsdale community. A further 250 fruit trees were donated to 13 local beneficiaries, mostly primary schools and crèches, in the Hammarsdale community and distributed through FTFA’s Trees for All programme. Overall Ackermans sponsored the distribution of 1000 fruit trees to the Hammarsdale community of Kwa-Zulu Natal in August 2019 – a donation which shall have profound positive impact for decades to come.
The 750 fruit trees distributed to homes through the Ackermans TFH project will be evaluated at 1 week, 6 months and 1 year after distribution. These evaluations will assess the survival rate of the trees so that the extent of the positive impact of the project may be measured. To assist FTFA with the monitoring and evaluation of the Ackermans trees in the Hammarsdale community 15 unemployed community members received training from FTFA facilitators. This training provided these Community Educators (CEs) with the necessary skills to be able to assess tree survival at residents’ homes and provide some basic trouble-shooting input should it be required. This aspect of the project has a three-fold positive impact: 15 unemployed community members are provided temporary income as they are paid for each evaluation they conduct; the training provided to the CEs garners them with some basic skills which they can then market to their community at large and home-owners who received trees have a local resource to turn to should they require assistance with caring for their trees.
Another iteration of this Ackermans initiative is set to launch in Nellmapius, Mamelodi, Gauteng, in September 2019 as part of Ackermans’ Arbor Month celebration. Mamelodi is one of FTFA’s Greenbelts – areas wherein there is a large focus on tree-planting in an attempt to establish vast tracts of continuous tree canopy in order to provide these communities with climate change alleviation, local environmental enhancement, community aesthetic enhancement and long-term food security in the form of fruit trees. The upcoming Ackermans Trees for Homes project in Mamelodi will be a significant contribution to these objectives. Once again Ackermans is generously donating 750 trees (both fruit and indigenous shade trees) to be planted at the homes of 375 residents of the Nellmapius community, through FTFA’s TFH programme. An additional 250 trees will also be distributed to local beneficiaries through FTFA’s TFA programme. Hence the Mamelodi Greenbelt shall grow by another 1000 trees thanks to Ackermans’ ongoing commitment to sustainable community development.