30.000 Rand Fund from the World Child Fund

We are very excited to announce that we got a new fund: 30.000 Rand from the World Child Fund. The World Child Fund (http://www.worldchildfund.nl/) is a Dutch NGO supporting projects worldwide improving the welfare of children.
The money will be used to build new grow beds, just like the ones you read about in a previous blog. Next to the additional monthly profit which will be invested in the children’s welfare, the extra materials will enable the children to be more involved in the project and learn about plants and fish. In the coming months, the Belhar Centre will provide Pure Good Foods with vegetables and herbs, running continuously to prove the concept of Aquaponics. This new fund is the first step into making the system profitable and stimulating the educational and social benefits!

Next week, we will be signing some papers to finalise the establishment of the Non-Governmental Organisation “Beleaf”. When we are an official NGO, we can more easily raise funds, oversee the project and hopefully help many more children!

Collaboration contract signing with Pure Good Food!

Today we are happy to announce the collaboration with Pure Good Food is official. Mr. Hartzenberg, head of the childhood centre and Shannon Smuts, owner and founder of Pure Good Food signed an one year contract!

Besides getting the childhood centre more proffesional, this is a big step to ensure the continuity of the project. To ensure even more continuity we are setting up the NGO Beleaf in the Netherlands soon, as we are doing the paperwork at the moment. More about this NGO will be posted soon!

Back to school, first day of 2019!

After a summer break of three weeks we are happy to welcome the children back to the Childhood Development Center! Many new faces, new energy and so far a very good start of 2019.

We ended 2018 having a blast! New fundings, expansion of the system, involving the children to the project and pick up an strenghten the contact with our customer Pure Good Food are the reasons for this.

We see 2019 as the turning year to become self-sustainable, provide the children with new facilities, a lot of new positive energy and many other reasons. We dare to look forward again and are not dreaming of success anymore we are going to make it happen! All the best wishes from our team and let 2019 be a good one.

15.000 Rand Fund from The Kingdom of the Netherlands

Yesterday, we were so happy to give a cheque of 15.000 Rand (about 950 euro) to the Belhar Early Childhood Development Centre. The check was sponsored by The Kingdom of the Netherlands. We would like to thank Nichola Walker-Woodard from the Dutch Consulate in Cape Town in particular, as she played an such an important role in advising and connecting us. 

The money is a very welcome next step for the Belhar Centre, as it will be spent on the expansion of the Aquaponics Project. This meant that we could already start buying new grow beds (see previous blog) and this made the head of the Belhar Centre, Mr. Hartzenberg, extremely happy. Besides the growth of the project, he is able to pay the teachers with money that was previously all spent on the Aquaponics Project. 
This shows how much faith Mr. Hartzenberg has in the project, and how much energy goes towards the Aquaponics.

Our efforts were encouraged by this succes, and we will continue searching for new funders and aid for the Belhar Centre. Once again, all thanks to the grattitude of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

40.000 Rand Fund from Students4Sustainability

This morning, we were very pleased to hand over a check of 40.000 Rand (about 2.500 euro) to the Belhar Early Childhood Development Centre. The check was sponsored by The foundation Students4Sustainability (S4S). As you can see in the picture above, this money is very important for the Belhar Centre: everyone is super happy!

About S4S
S4S is a student organisation that supports innovative technologies from TU Delft students, for the purpose of making the world more sustainable: “S4S can offer these students the chance to realize their ideas on a global scale in the form of a development project. On the one hand by offering them financial support, on the other hand by sharing experience and knowledge. This way, the growing gap between Western countries and developing countries can be overcome.” For more info, visit their website: https://www.students4sustainability.nl/en.

The goal of the investment
This cheque is a real game-changer for the Belhar Centre. The money will be invested in the expansion of the Aquaponics System, providing new grow beds (see our mission) so that the Belhar Centre can start making a profit.

Next week, we will buy grow beds and seedlings. These activities will be posted on this website as well, so keep an eye out for that!

Many thanks to everyone involved, and in particular Students For Sustainability!

Drawing sessions, very fun and very energetic!

Last week, we started to draw with the children. Douwe (image above), Nina and Stijn joined different groups of children and tasked them with drawing anything related to nature, plants and vegetables. This had multiple purposes.

First of all, it was a good way to get to know the children. Although it was not easy for us to learn all their names, the children could simply shout “uncle” and “auntie” as a way of showing respect and appreciation. Some of the children even learned our names although the pronunciation sometimes causes laughs. 
We would want to build a relationship with the children. For our project, it is really important to get to know the children and their needs. The system can be adjusted so that the children can learn from it, but we can also see how the potential profit of the Aquaponics system can be invested into an even better learning environment. 

Furthermore, this drawing session gave us some insight into the artistic skills of the children. In the future, we hope to sell jars with pesto and packages of tea produced by the Aquaponics System and labelled with drawings of the children (see the image below). This could provide a second source of income for the Childhood Centre, it will involve the children into the project even more and, on top of that, the customers of our products will get to know where the products are coming from and how the community of Belhar looks like. This is very important for the image of Belhar. 

We will have to wait and see how these future plans work out. For now, we have to recover. Although the children are very fun to work with, they are also very, very, very energetic!

sources: https://www.pestogenovese.com/en/the-genoese-pesto/108-il-genovese-180-gr-x-6-vasetti.html; https://mytreehouse.nl/heldenactiviteiten-dag-6/family-drawing/;https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/interior-room-white-brick-wall-wooden-121900492