SEED=School Environmental Education Development SEED started as a kind of Spin-off from Abalimi, when Robina McCurdy birthed it as a pilot project in 1998. During the last 14 years Leigh Brown has pioneered the work of SEED from a small pilot into a national program and the continuously growing Rocklands Urban Abundance Centre at Rocklands Primary School in Mitchells Plain. The centre has grown out of direct request from community for jobs, skills and food gardens. The organisation has three main projects:
- Schools Environmental Education Programme
- Food Freedom Project (training and support of Homestead Gardeners)
- Applied Permaculture Training (3-week accredited skill training for youth)
Outdoor Classroom Programme (OCP) is an integrated environmental education programme that provides professional development for educators, develops outdoor classrooms and gardens at schools, and inspires and motivates learners to be green leaders of the future.
SEED’s work with schools over the last 14 years has been pioneering the growing of Outdoor Classrooms in under- resourced schools all over South Africa. They have found that it is possible to transform whole communities towards resilience and social cohesion through working with schools.
The Mission of the Food Freedom Project is to support and grow a Community Home Gardeners Network in Mitchells Plain that is supported and mentored by local community activists in the neighbourhood. SEED found before focussing on reaching a high number of supported gardens they first needed to grow people, which took some time. By investing in people the good results just came their way and are now (2015) already more than 150 community members are facilitated by 4 SEED employees.
The Applied Permaculture Training (APT) Programme is a practical entry level programme to permaculture. Facilitated as a three-week short course, the course is able to accommodate youth who may not have completed school or who have completed school with little opportunity to access further education and training opportunities. Participants have testified to the value and life changing benefits on the course and have achieved a 75% absorption into “green jobs” right out of the programme.