Location: Cape Town - Johannesburg - Durban
Daily foot traffic: NA
Project: 3 safe space for kids
( with 3 food gardens and playground, mixing art and gardening )
Duration: 5 to 8 years
Partnership: Progress UK - Simon Ghartey
Baz-Art has been selected by UNICEF to create a pilot project establishing community gardens for kids in Salt River, Soweto-Freedom Park, then Durban
The pilot project for this partnership will be launched in Salt River, Cape Town from the 7th to 16th of February, 2020 and will see the creation of a safe space, where children can learn, sharpen their gardening and art skills, while also producing food for their families.
The construction and design of the garden will be a collaborative effort between local children from the community as well as local and international artists who will be participating in the International Public Art Festival (IPAF). This event will also be hosted by Baz-Art in Salt River, Cape Town from the 12th to 16th of February.
Baz-Art´s manager, Alexandre Tilmans' says ‘the purpose of the project is to encourage and enable young people to become productive members of society. Furthermore,the garden will have many other benefits, including creating a healthier environment for kids to play and learn, and a safe space in their community to connect with nature and be creative.’
UNICEF South Africa Deputy Representative, Muriel Mafico explains that this project is an opportunity to see first-hand a social compact between the city council, the local community, development partners, civil society but especially with children and youth themselves, which concept is aligned to UNICEF’s strategy of improving safety and security of adolescents, increasing the participation and civic engagement of adolescents and empower them to create their own enabling environment and pathway to the future.
Progress,a UK based social enterprise working with inner-city communities in order to promote education around organic food growth and public art in urban spaces will assist with the execution of the garden in Salt River. Simon Ghartey,Founder of Progress, has over 17 years experience in community gardening and will be in Cape Town to work directly with the kids and the community on the execution of this pilot project.
Commenting on the all inclusive nature of the project, Ghartey points out that `It is important to know that every age is welcome in the garden, both adults and kids and people from all cultural backgrounds. The garden invites people to build a stronger sense of community.’ `He also emphasized the importance for kids to learn about nutrition and know where food comes from. ‘If the project is successful, it will be used as a model, and has the potential to expand on the continent. At the moment, we are also rolling out the same project in Johannesburg and Durban.’
During the launch from 12th to 16th of February, children from the local school in Salt River will participate in workshops with local artists with RainbowWarrior, Art2Uplift and Progress-UK in order to brainstorm and design their garden. Following this, they will assist with painting the selected area and will learn how to plant sustainably.
The whole process will be filmed by a select number of children using mobile phones provided by Hisense. Khalid Shamis, a well-known documentary filmmaker will participate in this collaborative effort, teaching the kids the art of filming and how to produce movies of their garden.
With the pilot project running in tandem with the International Public Art Festival in Salt River, one can expect a truly inspiring, creative and successful outcome.