Bridgestone, in partnership with Food & Trees for Africa (FTFA), is helping its employees uplift their communities by planting ‘gardens for the future’. Through this collaboration, Neo Mathabe Special School in Brits, North West, will receive long-term funding and support to develop sustainable food gardens.
2 November 2021 – More than a quarter of school-aged children in South Africa are stunted and malnourished, and school food gardens are an important way for children to get the nutrition they need to thrive. Additionally, food gardens offer new revenue streams within communities, and can act as hubs bringing people together.
In its 30 years of operation, FTFA has planted thousands of food gardens around the country, ensuring that school children and communities have access to nutritious food. Through its work, FTFA has trained tens of thousands of educators and students how to grow their own food and care for their environment.
“Our partnership with Bridgestone is an example of corporate social investment strategically placed to support communities where their employees and their families come from,” said Robyn Hills, Head of Programmes at FTFA.
As part of the partnership, FTFA selected Neo Mathabe Special School in Brits to receive a long-term food garden out of nine candidates in the area. Not only has Bridgestone supported the school with infrastructure and materials, but the learners will receive training to learn how to care for the garden and maintain production. These skills will also be integrated into the school’s curriculum so that learners understand the food system and food production. The garden is expected to be fully operational in March next year.
Another two projects will receive basic planting materials to enable them to establish food gardens.
Robyn thanked Bridgestone for their assistance and commended them on planting ‘gardens for the future’: “Without support from outside of under-resourced communities, we can’t grow the positive effects of community gardens, tree planting and herb gardens.”
Bridgestone in Europe, Russia, Middle East, India and Africa (BSEMIA), headquartered in Zaventem (Belgium), is a subsidiary of Bridgestone Corporation, a global leader providing sustainable mobility and advanced solutions. In addition to its premium tyre products, BSEMIA offers a growing portfolio of tyre-centric and mobility solutions and serves its customers in an extensive retail network with thousands of touchpoints. Together with its partners and guided by its global corporate social responsibility commitment, Our Way to Serve, Bridgestone is dedicated to shaping a sustainable future of mobility and improving how people move, live, work and play.
About Food & Trees for Africa:
Food & Trees for Africa (FTFA) is a leading Section 21 Non-Profit Social Enterprise that addresses food security and environmental sustainability. Having been in South African social development for 27 years, FTFA highlights education and skills training integrated with sensitive mentorship and phased support. With initiatives that address climate change and greening, promote natural resource management, organic farming and food security and sustainable enterprise development – FTFA understands what it takes to achieve real, long-term sustainability and make a positive difference to the lives of all South Africans.