Sobantu Secondary School welcomed students from the Reunion Island’s EPL Saint-Paul agricultural college as they taught the community new farming techniques and skills this week.
Sobantu Secondary welcomed eight students from Reunion Island college last Saturday, and together they have been working to create a sustainable vegetable garden at the back of the school’s property.
Alliance Française Pietermaritzburg project leader Glenn Flanagan said the organisation had, for the past five years, brought students from the agricultural college in Reunion Island to communities in Pietermaritzburg in a transfer of skills in sustainable farming and gardening.
She said past projects had included Eastwood Secondary School, its library and the non-profit organisation Isisekelo Youth Development.
Flanagan said the students from the college did not only bring their “skills, their hard work and cultural exchange” but also donated garden tools for the community and the school to use.
She said the Cedara Agricultural College had partnered with the Alliance and EPL Saint Paul in providing the seeds and plants for the project and would also identify community members and pupils to go through extra training.
Sobantu Secondary matric pupil Lindelwa Sithole said the school was enjoying the experience and had learned “many different things” from the students during their visit.
“We are learning new things and we want to take this knowledge back to the community and teach them what we have learned,” said Sithole.
EPL Saint Paul student Amrita Sarnon said the students were teaching the pupils the new skills and learning at the same time.
She said the pupils and community members had picked up the skills quickly and hoped they would be used after their departure from South Africa on Saturday.