Working on Fire promotes health and wellness among our employees because the work we do requires high levels of mental and physical fitness. We recognise that while we have diverse cultural backgrounds, at the core of our wellness is what we eat and how our diet affects our overall well-being.
The combination of poverty and the increased use of high-carbohydrate, low-energy food (fast food) has limited access to nutritious meals and healthy ingredients. This has resulted in widespread food insecurity wherein many South Africans cannot be sure of having balanced healthy meals and sufficient food every day.
South Africa has a long history of subsisting off the land and we hope to restore this self-reliance through our Food Security initiatives, promoting access to land, awareness of healthy living and eating – and promoting the “farm to table” concept of access to fresh food.
Working on Fire participants have for some time been cultivating vegetable gardens at their bases, at schools or on communal land. They have used the produce for themselves or donated to those in need in the local communities. Building on this foundation, we introduced and started establishing organic nurseries in 2019 in Shongweni (KwaZulu- Natal), Mamre (Western Cape), Rust de Winter (Gauteng) and Phiphidi (Limpopo). These organic nurseries and gardens are already self-sufficient and will soon be able to supply seedlings or seeds to nearby bases.
In the near future, we hope to have the budget to expand our organic nurseries, strengthen support to vegetable gardens at the bases and expand into livestock farming.
I want to take this opportunity to thank Sabelo Buthelezi for coordinating our food security training and our organic nursery champions for ensuring their gardens are taken care of and for donating produce to those in need.
We want to engage more local partners/ stakeholders to assist in fortifying our efforts. We know that climate change will affect food security in the long term and we hope our efforts will strengthen local resources, provide nutritious food and establish a food system that can adapt to our changing environment.
Executive: Fire Awareness & Social Development