Waitrose Foundation At Work

A bountiful harvest to boast about at Roepersfontein in the Northen Cape

May 2023

We received good news of a bountiful harvest at Roepersfontein partial facility on Kanoneiland farm in the Northern Cape. These beautiful photos were received from Jacomien Botes, responsible for Social Development at the Karsten Group. There is great excitement about the thriving veggie garden and the kids are very much involved and enjoying the learning opportunity as well.

Last year we shared about the vegetable garden which forms part of a feeding project supported by the Waitrose Foundation. Fresh produce harvested from the garden is used in meal preparation in the facility’s kitchen.

'Predictable Care', of which nutrition and a regular feeding programme are key components, has a very significant impact on a child's brain development and their development of trust in adults. In other words, neural pathways are created whereby the child learns to trust their adult caregiver because healthy food is provided on a regular basis by the caregiver. When the child then learns to trust the caregiver, this relationship lays the foundation for all relationships that the child will have with others in life, even in their place of work.

The brain of a child who attaches positively to a caregiver, whether that person is a parent, guardian or a caregiver at a creche, looks different (physically), than that of a child who has not attached in this very important developmental phase. The brain of such a child has more invaginations ('instulpings'), and the child is not as anxious, is more confident, brave, adventurous, and eager to explore the world. This child also has a greater capacity for scholastic achievement and healthy social integration. Their physical development is also significantly better than children without healthy attachment to a caregiver.

We are very grateful for this fascinating insight from Jacomien who is also receiving her Doctorate in Attachments from the North West University in Potchefstroom in June. We look forward to more updates from her in future and following the various projects of the Karsten Group.