Scouting equips children to grow healthy food

The World Food Day is annually held on the 16th of October to commemorate the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). This year’s theme is “Our Actions are our future. Better production, better nutrition, a better environment and better life.  #ZeroHunger #Skills4Life.

The Scout programmes have been developed to provide original approaches to several of the problems affecting young people today. One such programme is Food for Life.

The Food for Life programme was launched in 2005 and strives to teach children, youth, their families and community members how to establish food gardens, how to maintain them and enhance food security for their families, local churches and community centers. It contributes to achieving the #ZeroHunger Goal, whilst offers a practical solution to the lack of access to fresh vegetables that some of our members face on a daily basis.

Food for Life is introduced to 10 year old children who learn how to grow their first vegetables. This progressively increases to a bigger size garden. The programme then provides for activities where the kids learn about healthy eating and how to cook balanced meals. For the older Scouts and young adults an entrepreneurial module gives them the skills to manage their gardens in order to sell their own vegetables and earn a small income.

Numerous community Food for Life projects have been implemented by Scouts nationwide. Many of them choosing to do it as a Group project and starting the vegetable gardens at school. The vegetables are then given to Scout families, soup kitchens at schools and sold to community members.

The programme received international acclaim in 2008 and was rolled out all over the African continent by the Africa Regional Scout Bureau. It’s run as a stand-alone programme, but prior to the Covid pandemic it also formed part of the nationally run SCOUTS SA environmental education camps.

#WorldFoodDay #SDG’s #SustainableDevelopmentGoals #CommunityEmpowerment #ZeroHunger #ScoutsSouthAfrica #SCOUTSSA #Skills4Life