South Africa: Story of a (Downtown) African Farm

analysis

Opposite the Johannesburg stadium, with the tower blocks of Hillbrow as its background, the Bertrams Inner City Farm has been turned into a productive oasis by a kind woman, determined to feed the hungry.

First published in the Daily Maverick 168 weekly newspaper.

Once upon a time, a middle-aged nurse living in the Johannesburg inner city looked out on the streets around her home and saw that many of the children were not going to school. She remembered sadly how when she was growing up she rarely saw her own mother and father, and so she decided that she would use her daughter's garage to gather the children together and create a place of safety and love.

The kind woman is called Refiloe Molefe and this is her story.

Before long there were more than 50 children under her care. She called them the Precious Lilies.

But the children didn't only need care. Molefe soon discovered that they were also hungry, so she made a plan to get donations of bread. But it soon became clear that donated bread was not going to be enough either. She needed something more sustainable, something that could provide a constant supply of food...

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