Unisa’s Centre for Sustainable Agriculture and Environmental Sciences under the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences (CAES), hosted a certification ceremony event in East London in the Eastern Cape Province on 31 May 2012. The programme came about as a result of the partnership between Unisa and the South African Institute of Distance Education in the design, development and implementation of the study programme. The intention was to promote the Centre’s Programme in Household Food Security (PHFS).
CAES is offering the PHFS as a short learning programme (NQF level 5). The programme is targeting community development advocates and trains them in household food security facilitation as community-based workers and is designed to ensure that the enrolled personnel such as community development workers, community health workers, peer educators, etc. receive practical community-based experiential training to facilitate change and empower communities towards sustainable practices.
The programme was founded because the livelihood of many communities in rural areas struggle with access to adequate and nutritious food. Villagers have to travel long distances to buy food and in the event that there is no money, poverty is rife.
Two hundred and sixteen students, seventeen with distinctions, from twenty learning venues all over the Eastern Cape completed this programme during the 2011 academic year. This certificate ceremony event served to congratulate them on their achievement and exposed them to the outside world for potential future placements and considerations.
The Executive Manager, Mr Maxegwana, from the Community Development & Research Programme of the Department of Social Development, Eastern Cape, was invited to deliver the keynote address at the Certificate Ceremony.
The two pilot phases of the Programme in Household Food Security have been successfully concluded and special thanks are conveyed to the Executive Dean of CAES, Prof Maggie Linington for her determined leadership. The delivery of the programme would not have been possible without the regional based support to the Regional Coordinator of the PHFS in CAES, including publicity, from Mr Motale Nkgoang as the Manager of the Eastern Cape Region. The formal partnership for design development and implementation with the South African Institute for Distance Education (SAIDE) under Mrs Jennie Glennie and project Leader Dr Alice Barlow –Zambodla are also acknowledged. The entire HFS under Mrs Fransa Ferreira have made the programme one of the most considered programmes when fundamental community development aspects are to be realised.