There was excitement and a festive atmosphere on Saturday as the DJ Sobey Home launched its community garden project.
Project organiser Jerenice Goosen said that the garden would cater for the nutritional needs of the elderly residents and ensure they live healthy.
The community of Buffalo Flats will also benefit from the harvest as excess produce will be sold at nominal prices to support healthy and nutritional eating habits in the community.
DJ Sobey management board chairperson Adam Fray, in thanking all the donors that made the project possible, said he was appreciative of all their help despite the challenges brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The project was funded from a wide array of local families, NGO’s, faith based organisations, businesses and a women’s rural farming project from the Buffalo Flats and wider East London community, most with a long-standing relationship with the old age home.
Goosen, who works as a social worker from Buffalo Flats recalls how as a 9 year old, she attended a matinee disco session at the opening of the Home in 1980, 41 years ago.
Jayda–Leigh Goosen, her 13 year-old daughter, used her own savings to sponsor a herb garden for the project.
Support also came from Kylie-Maree Stafford, a final year medical student studying on a SANDF funded exchange programme in Cuba. She sponsored a Brunfelsia pauciflora, commonly known as a Yesterday-Today-and-Tomorrow plant, that emits a very pleasant odour.
The plant donation was made in memory of her late mother, Beryl Stafford, also from Buffalo Flats who died last year.
The Home has been struggling financially and during December last year was almost forced to close its doors. The community garden will provide fresh produce to cut down on costs as food prices continue to soar.
Pastor Rodwell Frederick, deputy chairperson of the board, called on the community and donors to continue supporting the Home through monthly debit orders or donations. The banking details are as follows:
- DJ Sobey Old Age Home
- Nedbank Ltd
- Account No. 1210235668
With the promise of more funding support to employ an additional full–time gardener, the future of the community garden and the Home certainly looks bright indeed.