In order to create a better world, systemic sustainability is of the essence; that means actions are needed which has to do with the natural environment, the economy and social aspects. Therefore, the AEL is an active partner on school food gardens in order to assist with the expensive school feeding programme. Schools are spaces of learning within or near to a community and this is where one has to start developing respect for the environment and our scarce natural resources. Our students do practicals in the food gardens and also in the community where the garden is located; that is developing their sense for social responsibility projects. Communities need to be involved in conservation in order to address issues such as soil and water conservation, protection of fauna and flora, pollution and waste management.
However, Ghandi said that you cannot talk about conservation with a person suffering from hunger. The importance of environmentally friendly food gardens for food security is best described by quotes from Better World Heroes: “You cannot achieve environmental security and human development without addressing the basic issues of health and nutrition.” — Gro Harlem Brundtland. “School feeding not only fills stomachs but has a proven track record of boosting enrolment, attendance, and academic performance.” — Drew Barrymore.
Partnering with world-class universities & research Public Private Partnerships are important for an institution to remain relevant. Therefore, AEL is collaborating with world-class universities such as Stellenbosch University Water Institute and Maastricht School of Management in the Netherlands. We are an implementing partner with them on a project on Water Smart and Climate Wise Farm Management; this project is building capacity in TVETs for best agricultural practices with regard to water management. Commercial agriculture is an important stakeholder in this project. The public partners on this project are the Department of Higher Education, AgriSeta and the Energy and Water Seta.