Aspiring 12-year-old farmer Fred Junior MacCarthy is a step closer to realising his vision of addressing child hunger in South Africa after receiving R20 000 worth of implements from Engen.
Junior, as Fred is affectionately known, runs the Garden School Project, which sees him visit schools to educate children about the fundamentals of growing vegetables.
The official handover of the garden implements, including forks, rakes, spades, watering cans, garden hoses, and wheelbarrows, took place recently at Motlhake Primary School in Brits.
“I love that Engen believed in me and my vision when I started this project and were the first to come and help,” comments the Brits-based youngster.
Junior is also the founder and CEO of Junior Farm Park, an initiative designed to engage young South Africans in commercial farming.
Junior Farm Park also seeks to promote the economic benefits of farming as a career, revive school gardening, stimulate backyard farming, and rejuvenate commercial farming in rural areas.
“My ultimate goal is to establish a Junior Farm Park, providing a space for young people to learn about commercial farming and its crucial role in sustaining the environment,” says Junior.
Adnaan Emeran, Engen’s Manager of Marketing & Business Development for Commercial Fuels and Lubricants, says the company remains committed to empowering emerging farmers.
“As Engen, we hosted Junior and 13 of his friends as VIP guests at the Nampo agricultural show earlier in the year as we are inspired by his noble vision to help address hunger through sustainable farming,” adds Emeran.
Stakeholder Engagement and Transformation Manager at Engen, Dr James Xolani Nyawera says the company is proud to support Junior and wished him every success.
“Junior’s initiative adds to Engen’s portfolio of green projects, including a greening project in South Durban, which are aimed at driving sustainable co-creation with local authorities and communities to enhance the lives of local communities.”
As a company, Engen supports the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s). This is reinforced by this collaborative greening initiative, which primarily demonstrates a focus on SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation; SDG 13: Climate Action and SDG 15: Life on Land.