Dear friends of Abalimi Bezekhaya, we have come a long way over the past 35 years. From Green Point, our office moved to Observatory and finally settled in Philippi 10 years ago. We now have an office and also a busy packshed, that is accessible to our farmers. Many of our farmers are making a living from their community gardens.
In 2016 I was appointed CEO of Abalimi, taking over from Rob Small, who has led and served us well for many years. Rob remains a trusted advisor, friend and resource mobilisor under the Farm & Garden National Trust. As a community grassroots leader, I am supported by a small hard working team of qualified professionals who love our vision and mission and ensure that Abalimi is managed well.
In the next few years I intend to pass the leadership of the Abalimi movement on. What is important to me is to see people happy, that people have something to do. The problem of food security hasn’t changed, it is still continuing; and Abalimi is here to help those who can’t help themselves.
Abalimi Bezekhaya is a community organisation. We come here because we love to work with the community. Our job is to help the poor. Food security is our purpose for being here, not only money. We need to stay as a family, we need to help each other. But as a family we need to grow; allowing new, young people and new ideas to come in.
We won’t forget who we are and where we come from. If we stick with that, then Abalimi is indestructible. I will always stand for the name of Abalimi in the community, until I die. I will always defend Abalimi, according to our vision and mission, which you can see on our website.
This newsletter (Edition 35) tells stories that point to our future and the anniversary insert brings back memory of our path through the years. I hope that you are inspired to become, or remain, our friends, on South Africa’s Long Walk to Freedom.
To us, Mandela’s vision is more alive and urgent than ever. We are showing that it is possible for unemployed people to feed and employ themselves, through a new culture of family micro-farming, while building democracy, from the ground up, with love and respect for all.