We are Bram, Nicolas, Eva and Filip, four students from Delft University of Technology. Together with the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, we are spending six months supporting the Belhar Early Childhood Development Center (BECDC) in Cape Town in its growth and sustainability as part of the minor International Entrepreneurship and Development.
The BECDC is located in the township of Belhar in Cape Town, dominated by poverty, crime and drug use. It provides a safe haven for young children from 1 to 6 years old where they are kept off the streets every day, prepared for primary education and given three healthy meals every day, which is anything but a guarantee at home.
What makes the BECDC interesting is that since 2011, an Aquaponics / Hydroponics system has been constructed in collaboration with the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. Aquaponics and hydroponics are both methods of growing crops with very low water use. In the ebb and flow system with growth beds and fish ponds, water is circulated, with nutrients from the fish excrement feeding the crops. The difference between Aquaponics and hydroponics is that with hydroponics no fish are used but biological nutrients are added manually. As a result, the BECDC produces enough food for the children and to sell extra to our customer Pure Good Food. In addition, the system is sustainable due to its efficient water use, something that is extremely important given the dry climate.
Our goal is to support the BECDC in its mission to grow crop revenues and have a positive social impact at the local level as well. Ultimately, we hope that this will lead to an improvement in the social well-being of the Belhar township!
What are we going to do?
Experimenting with different crops
Experimenting with LED lights in an indoor system
Growing and drying herbs from which a spice mix can be made and from there developing a product that could eventually also be sold in the Netherlands.
What do we need for this?
- Conduct experiments and grow herbs - 500 Euro
- Development of final product - 750 Euro
- Construction of growth beds within the system and LED lights - 750 Euro.
- Install dehydrator for herbs - 500 Euro.
Total amount: 2500 Euro.
Update - Get updates from our project. You will get everything from the kids, employees and us!
Adopt your own plant - Adopt your own plant and fully participate in the development of the plant.
Adopt your own grow bed - Adopt your own grow bed, we will make a name tag with an optional personal message and put it next to your grow bed.
Connect your company or institution to the BECDC! - You will be featured in Belhar, on social media and on the website as a partner.