Stanley

I can give back to the community

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Stanley always was interested in environmental work since he removed alien trees in Newlands Forest with his school when he was in Grade 4, living with his grandparents.

Unfortunately his life turned the wrong way when his grandmother died and he became involved with gangsterism. “I was part of the gang for 9 years. Nothing I am proud of today. And I ended up in jail for 2 years,” he says, “when I came out, I took another turning point and started to do community work, especially with children.”

In 2012 he created a play-park for the kids in Lenteguer, the area where he had moved to. The nearby school got to know his good work and employed him as a gardener and caretaker for 2 years. Seed was also busy at that school at the same time and they dragged him into the organisation. He could do the permaculture courses while he was still employed.

The first half of 2014 he worked as a painter and volunteered at SEED – “but I wanted to get my hands back into the soil”, he says. And so he did an intense six months permaculture training course, which gave him a broader picture. During that time he became the nursery manager at SEED and learned a lot with the help of his colleagues.

In 2015 he joined the food freedom project and helps now to grow the home garden movement in Mitchells Plain. He was struggling with transport to come to work every day and so he moved into the SEED Post Carbon House at Rocklands premises.

“The first two weeks I stayed here in the house all alone, but then I thought, I should live here with my whole family (wife and 3 kids). It was not easy to convince the SEED managers, but finally they agreed, that it should be proved, that a whole family can live there. And we are all very happy here!”