The first 1,000 days of life

Our ministry focuses on development because we always try to strive for long-term solutions, not a temporary fix.

Creating working opportunities for locals 

Praise the Lord! Our vegetable garden at Durbanville Community Church (DCC), near Cape Town, is taking shape, with our first seeds being planted this week. So far, 8,500 square feet of our future 17,000 square feet garden will help alleviate at least some of the suffering, and support local communities in the following ways:

  • The vegetable garden will help save money and reduce food waste, since all veggies will be harvested on our property.
  • Our own soup kitchens use a lot of vegetables weekly — our vegetable garden will help us save money and time sourcing affordable and nutritious foods.
  • Community volunteers have been provided some fresh air and physical exercise through digging, stretching, and pushing wheelbarrows, etc.
  • Locals will be taught how to copy our veggie growing model.
  • We will be reducing the danger of food contamination because we get to control the environment and stop dangerous pesticide exposure.
  • We have a high rate of people with severely inadequate access to food — mainly our brothers and sisters in informal settlements and rural areas – we want to carry on making a difference in their lives.
  • Discipleship opportunities – our Soldiers for Christ young men have diligently been working in our garden. They are always asking when they can come and help again.
Garden beds ready for seeds

Clean running drinking water is available at the church, but is extremely expensive for agricultural use. A borehole to aid production will be of inestimable value.

We permanently feed the children of our Early Childhood Development Center (ECDC) – it is of prime importance to nourish them through the first 1,000 days of their lives. The period from conception to the second birthday is a time of critical brain growth and development with rapid rates of neuron growth, development, and connectivity.

Many children that experience learning problems later on in life, have been found to have experienced deficiencies and challenges that are traced back to this early time of development. Studies indicate that children who are not adequately nourished, complete approximately 4 grades of schooling less than other well-nourished children. Subsequently, this causes them to earn less later in life, they are less likely to have healthy families and are 10 times more likely to succumb to childhood illnesses.

We have highlighted this period of life as one of the key areas to produce nutritional food for, thus aiding our neighbors educationally, nutritionally, and spiritually.

These steps help make things a little bit easier for our ministry, our partners and everyone helping us to feed suffering people.

“For I was hungry and you gave Me food, I was thirsty and you gave Me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed Me, I was naked and you clothed Me…” Matthew 25: 35-36

Growing vegetables will contribute to food security (even if it is on a small scale). It will help give us access to sufficient, safe, and fresh food to maintain the health of our struggling neighbors.

It will also provide jobs for those who have been, and will be, employed to create and  maintain our gardens, by watering, weeding, controlling insects etc.

Soldiers for Christ young men volunteering in our garden

The most cost-effective way to meet our desperate need for water is to drill a borehole on our ministry property at our DCC facility. This will revolutionize our food and vegetable production!

Please partner with us in this expansion of Project Joseph!

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