I am so in love with Abalimi

Liziwe Abalimi 01

Lizzie, as everybody calls her at Abalimi, got in contact with the organisation in 1999, when she was unemployed sitting at home, helping people with sewing their clothes. At that time Christina Kaba was looking for new people to help to re-open the SCARGA community garden, who had to close because of a lot of thefts of tools. “They also had sewing machines and I was more interested in those than in gardening, but before we could start the sewing programme we had to establish a garden plot. I quickly got passionate about my garden and did not do any sewing any more!” Lizzie tells us her story.

After two years Abalimi was looking for a part-time-worker to help others with their garden and so Liziwe started to work for Abalimi seasonal, but still kept her own garden. She became a trainer and learned how to facilitate workshops. She became a full-time trainer, because all the other trainers in Khayelitsha had left.

 “In those years we produced a lot of veggies, but had no market, so they often landed on the compost. Fortunately Abalimi started Harvest of Hope in 2008 and that was also for me the right time to have my own garden again”, Liziwe tells us. It is like a home garden to her, because she lives just around the corner and her whole family is involved.

She is now permanently employed by Abalimi/Harvest of Hope and she is the one who trains gardeners to become farmers. The quality of their vegetables is improving and they can make money with their micro-farm. They start to see it as their business.

Lizzie tells us: “I have learned so many things through Abalimi: how important it is to grow food organically, to respect nature, to become self-sustained, to be confident in front of an audience, to cook diversified, to use plants as medicine, to recycle – to summarize it: Abalimi taught me to live a better – a healthy life!”