Scouts plant own veggies
TSUMEB – Scouts from the 1st Tsumeb Scout Troop planted a vegetable garden at a new primary school in the Tsumeb district to commemorate the recent birthday of the Scouts Founder, Lord Robert Baden-Powell.
The Scouts sowed sweetcorn, cabbage, beans, carrots, squash, onions, tomatoes and pumpkins at Ludwigshawe Primary School, which teaches San children in Grades 1 to 4 who live on farms in the vicinity of the school located 15 km north of Tsumeb. The Scouts also created a small compost heap with the grass, leaves and twigs they raked together while clearing the land for the garden. The compost will be used later as plant fertilizer.
“In Scouting, we make a promise to help other people at all times,” said Desmond Namonde, the Scout leader at 1st Tsumeb. “In honour of B-P (Baden-Powell), whose birth we celebrate every year on 22 February we decided to do this community service to help disadvantaged youngsters.”
The next stage of the project is to teach the learners how to tend the school garden and also how to grow a vegetable patch at their homes to augment the family diet and earn pocket money with the surplus harvest, Namonde said. The Scouts also plan to talk to the children about basic food groups and other nutritional matters.
“Learning by doing is one of the key elements of the Scout educational method,” Namonde said. “With this project, Scouts learn how to be of service to others and to become better citizens, while the pupils learn a valuable life skill and how to be ‘agricultural entrepreneurs’ at a young age.”
The founder and principal of Ludwigshawe Primary School, Jannie Xamiseb, applauded the Scouts’ effort and expressed hope that the garden can be expanded little by little to the point where it can be used as a source of supplemental funding for the school’s maintenance budget.
“Vegetables from the garden can be prepared and served to the learners as a way of adding extra vitamins and minerals to their diet,” Xamiseb said. “Once the act of planting a small garden is repeated at home and results in more food for the family table, life in the surrounding farm-working community will be uplifted.”
Lord Baden-Powell was born in England in 1857. He founded the Boy Scout Movement in 1907, and three years later established the Girl Guide Movement. Baden-Powell was a famous British general during the Boer War in South Africa from 1899 to 1902.