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“From gangsters to gardeners”

With its strong motto “to make gardening cool” the idea of founder Xolisa Bangani from Khatelitsha is to get young people involved in environmental activities using gardening as a basic or primary activity. Due to urbanisation and technology a majority of young people across the globe have not showed interest in gardening or environmental activities, Ikhaya garden seeks to re-define the concept of gardening which is opposing the idea that gardening is for low income people and old fashioned.

They have responded to the challenge by creating exciting spaces by fussing gardening with creativity, which includes arts, sports and recreation.

They have played a major role in assisting local citizens to start backyard gardens. Before the drought in Cape Town they already had about 200 household gardens most of them established by young people. Over the years they have also created an accessible platform for young people to partake in global seminars and events that are addressing the same challenges. From 2014 they have created accessible opportunities for the youth from local disadvantage communities to partake at the Slow Food global event called Terra Madre hosted in Italy every 2 years. Over the years they have hosted a number of food and environmental events such as Funky Food Vegetable Festival, Eat-in, Disco Soup, Seed Sharing and Impilo Yabantu Market. All these events help to create opportunities for cultural exchange where they welcome people from different parts of the world. Ultimately Ikhaya Garden has managed to turn gangsters to gardeners.

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