According to the bank, the partnership with Urban Harvest showcases Absa's commitment to being a force for good in the communities in which it operates. This is through sustainable development and addressing the food insecurity issues in South Africa.

"We are excited to be in KwaDukuza to make a much-needed contribution to Groutville High School and the wider KwaDukuza community. Access to nutrition is a non-negotiable for our learners, and this garden will help create sustainable access to food and nutrition," says Mandisa Buthelezi, regional manager of Everyday Banking at Absa in KwaZulu-Natal.

"This is the type of tangible, positive difference that Absa seeks to create in society and we are delighted to play our part in ensuring that learners have access to quality meals," adds Buthelezi.

The bank says that over and above the obvious nutritional benefits, school learners will be actively involved in managing the garden and learning valuable lessons.

"Gardening is an engaging way to teach children about healthy eating habits and the importance of growing their own food, all while encouraging physical activity. Children will also learn about water-efficient gardening practices and responsible water usage — skills that are sorely needed in South Africa. Furthermore, in a country that is suffering skyrocketing unemployment levels, such efforts go a long way," adds Buthelezi.

Absa says that its Possibilities Unearthed initiative has been bringing change in schools since 2021 and has now built vegetable gardens for schools in communities in which it activates its sponsorships.

Simphiwe Gumede, the school principal at Groutville High School, says, "We would like to thank Absa for choosing our school as the 2023 recipient of the sustainable vegetable garden. This vegetable garden will go a long way to assisting our children with the ability to concentrate and perform better in class while promoting environmental awareness and healthy living."

"We will ensure that we nurture the seed that Absa has planted to empower our children with the skills and knowledge of growing their own food. Our grade 10 Agricultural Sciences learners will be partly responsible for maintaining the veggie garden," Gumede adds.

"With the Possibilities Unearthed initiative, we do not only plant seeds for cultivation but seeds of hope to inspire this young generation and remind them that they can plant their own nutritious food. They must know that we support them and will continue providing opportunities to help them live healthy lifestyles," Buthelezi concludes. 

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