#WINEFORGOOD: Pebbles Project and local partners continue to change lives in Hemel en Aarde

Tuesday, 21 April, 2020
Pebbles Project
In 2015, Carolyn Martin, co-owner of Creation Wines, approached the Pebbles Project to develop an education facility for farming communities in Hemel-en-Aarde valley situated on the R320 in the Overberg.

A 10-hectare piece of land was made available by a local farm owner, Anthony van Hoogstraten, and seed funding from the Cape Wine Auction Trust enabled the project to open an Early Childhood Development and After School Club centre in 2016. The project expanded in 2019 thanks to a Rotary Global grant which allowed for 2 additional ECD classrooms to be created by the renovation of an old farm shed. The facility opened with 62 children, it now has grown to a total of 113 learners in 2020.

In 2019 the local government school on the neighbouring farm closed down and 34 local farm children were left without any school placement, and with all other schools in the area being full, a plan needed to be made. Pebbles partnered with Freudenberg Help e. V, Future Learn, Mr. Andre du Plessis, and other donors, and the Pebbles Academy opened its doors in July 2019 to accommodate learners from Grade 1 – Grade 9.

2020 will be the first full year that the academy will run with a total of 63 learners enrolled, all of which live on farms in the Hemel en Aarde Valley or have parents who work on farms. It’s set to be a busy year!

The facility has a beautiful working vegetable garden sponsored by Haygrove Heaven with seasonal fruit and vegetables such as carrots, cabbage, tomatoes, corn, passion fruit, gooseberries, spinach, butternut and bush beans to only name a few.

Thanks to Haygrove Heaven, Grootbos Foundation and volunteer Hennie the vegetable garden flourishes. Collectively they have donated seedlings, funding, equipment, and training towards the garden. The produce is used to substitute the nutrition programme which feeds 113 children at the centre on a daily basis.  Excess produce is sold to Creation Wines to use in their restaurant, which provides additional income for the project. The Academy children also like to get their hands dirty from time to time and assist in the garden.

It's amazing what can be achieved when we come together with a shared goal of empowering the local wine and farming communities. 

MORE ON #WINEFORGOOD

There are plenty of good news stories about upliftment and transformation in the South African Wine Industry. The #wineforgood website, launched by wine.co.za in June 2016, hosts all the positive stories from the winelands, of which there are plenty. wine.co.za has made April a focus for #wineforgood stories. Share them far and wide and spread the good news about South African wine.