Harvesting at The Tunnel Gardens in Limpopo

Two Tunnel gardens, one at Chirela and the other at Maseveni in Jane Furse Limpopo have started selling their vegetables which are organic and free from poisonous agrichemicals.  The gardens have been designed in a holistic manner and use permaculture principles to help disadvantaged families produce more food with less resources.

The communities are using compost made from animal waste, and other organic material found within the community.  They are making their own natural remedies to control garden pests and diseases using various herbs and other pest repelling plants by interplanting with vegetables.  The community have greatly invested in soil fertility through liquid organic fertilizers which they make from plants like comfrey, borage, stinging nettle and lucern.  The community’s intention is to invest their income from the garden on other projects such as sewing and value-added food processing initiatives to boost their revenue and improve local commodity supply.

The development of tunnel gardens by Operation HungerLimpopo region has greatly impacted on the lives of the community in Jane Furse. The projects have positively changed the communities’ nutrition and health needs through production of healthy organic vegetables and culinary herbs using borehole water installed by Operation Hunger in every village.  The Tunnel Gardens produce are healthy and very nutritious Spinach, Giant Red Mustard Greens, Savoy Perfection Cabbage, Curled Purple Wave Mustard and Red Russian Kale.


Operation Hunger Founder Dr. Selma Browde Visits Our New Offices

Dr. Selma Browde(Centre), one of the founders of Operation Hunger visited our new offices located in Edenvale, Gauteng to see how the organization was progressing. She was met by the Chairman of the Board, John Matjila (Far Right), the CEO Minnie Okwirry (Second Right), Board Member, John Heinrich (Second Left) and National Project Coordinator, Laurie Gibbs (Far Left).


Dr. Selma Browde along with Dr. NthatoMotlana started Operation Hunger in the year 1978 after they saw the need to combat malnutrition in South Africa. Under the auspices of the Institute of Race Relations, Dr. Selma and Dr. Nthato worked together to register Operation Hunger as a fund-raising organization which they accomplished in the year 1980. Operation Hunger’s far reaching and wide spread activities focused on the concerns about the nutrition needs of people in South Africa by helping communities to help themselves through implementing a variety if sustainable projects, based on community needs, which contained elements of Development, Nutrition and/or Relief.

While Operation Hunger’s focus on poverty, malnutrition and relief has remained the same over the years, the organization, in partnership with communities, has broadened its activities. Projects range from water harvesting, small garden plots, tunnel gardening, vegetable, chicken and egg production, soup kitchens and basic training in health and life management skills.


None of this would be possible today if not for the hard work of thefounders, Dr. Selma Browde and DrNthatoMotlana nor the support of esteemed persons, such as Prof. Mervyn King and Patron Mrs. Kezia Obama.

To know more about Operation Hunger or wish to help email: info@operationhunger.org and visit website at www.operationhunger.org

Help change the world for the better.

Dr. Selma Browde (Centre), Chairman of the Board, John Matjila (Far Right), the CEO Minnie Okwirry (Second Right), Board Member, John Heinrich (Second Left) and National Project Coordinator, Laurie Gibbs (Far Left).

Oom John Selebedi (86years), one of the most Enthusiastic Volunteers

Oom John Selebedi has been working with Operation Hunger for over ten years.His work with Bennie Berend our Regional Field Coordinator in the Northern cape has been inspiring.

When the soup kitchen was started in the year 2008 this elder man (Oom John Selebedi), who is now 86 years of age, was the first person to volunteer at the Gong Gong soup kitchen. He is an additional member of the committee of the soup kitchens and strives to provide aid to any who need it.

Oom John was the person who, when Operation Hunger first approached the community, spent his time driving Bennie Berend for orientation around the community.

He was in charge of construction of the buildings forthe soup kitchen to operate in and to erect the fence around the structure. He helps out in the yard and with the food garden.

He is still going strong and is present in every program or event Operation Hunger sponsors. He loves his work and will always serve the community through Operation Hunger.

Many ThanksOomJohn, Operation Hunger is happy to have your support and hope to have you with them for many more years to come.

Outdoor Media Donates Billboard

Outdoor Media SA, a specialized advertising media consulting company that exclusively acts for and on behalf of third parties and property owners has generously sponsored a billboard for Operation Hunger.

Check out the beautiful Billboard on Zambezi Drive Pretoria that was so kindly sponsored by Outdoor Media SA. Operation Hunger would like to express sincere gratitude to Outdoor Media for the sponsoring of this billboard.

Specialized advertising media consultants www.outdoormedia-sa.co.za

Youth Helps Out At Operation Hunger

Two high school students, Amani Nchapha and Inati Mtoba, volunteered for a day at Operation Hunger’s new premises for our National Office to help us in our efforts.

Amani and Inata helped our organization in the collection of donations and the delivery of such items. Through the Forgood platform we at Operation Hunger receive a variety of donations including an offer of landline phones from Murray & Roberts for our National and Regional Offices. One of our employees traveled with the student volunteers to their offices to collect the phones. Their offices, located in the Douglas Roberts Campus, were easy to find and well maintained.

Upon entering Murray & Roberts we were greeted at reception with a request to study their Visitor Information Card, a leaflet which provides us with essential health and safety information. As Murray & Roberts is a company committed to protecting the health and safety of their employees, contractors and visitors and to further ensure the protection of the environment we were happy to comply with this request and follow all safety protocols as listed in the event of an emergency.

While reading through the leaflet at reception our contact at M&R, Claire Du Preez sent her fellow to meet us and escort us upstairs to receive the phones. Stepping of the lift and into the offices Claire met us with a smile and showed us the box of phones, packed, ready and waiting. Amani and Inati each grabbed an end and hosted the box up to take back to the car.  With a quick goodbye to Claire and associates we packed the car and were off. Arriving back at our National Offices in record time, Amani and Inati hopped out and took the phones inside to the gratitude of the employees of operation Hunger. The students, along with the employees, proceeded to unpack and sort the phones after which they spent the remaining of the day cleaning and packing.

We at Opetration Huunger would like to share our gratitude with Amani and Inati for the time they spent helping us and a most appreciative thank you the Claire Du Preez and Murray & Roberts for their generous donation. Operation Hunger would not be able to help as many as we do without the generosity of people like Clare Du Preez, Amani Nchapha and Inati Mtoba nor the charity of big companies like Murray & Roberts. If you would be interested in volunteering your time and assistance to our cause or if you would just like to know more about us please visit our website: www.operationhunger.org or email us at: info@operationhunger.org

“Be the change the world needs.”

Qualcomm Donates Office Furniture To Operation Hunger

Qualcomm an international incorporation, has donated a massive amount of office desks, credenzas, cabinets and boardroom tables to Operation Hunger to furnish our new National Office premises.

Operation Hunger, having finally found new premises for the National Office were in a bit of a dilemma of how to furnish the new offices.  We made use of the Forgood online platform and posted our needs on the website, of which we signed up earlier this year.

Imagine our delight when a lady by the name of Laveshnee Pillay contacted us through the Forgood website with an offer of ten desks, including a chair, a cabinet and credenza with each desk, and two board room tables with associate cabinets. Jumping at the offer we immediately replied with an acceptance of this generous donation and made plans to meet with Laveshnee as soon as we were able.

Two of our employees drove to the Qualcomm offices to meet and make arrangements for collecting the furniture but Laveshnee added an extra to the offer and stated that she would arrange for the delivery of all the furniture to our offices. Surprised and appreciative of the generosity we happily toured the Qualcomm offices as Laveshnee showed us the furniture we would shortly be receiving.

We thought that only ten desks and two boardroom tables were on offer but as Laveshnee took us on tour she explained that the offer had expanded to include an extra six desks with dividers and another two boardroom tables added to the original offer.

So with gratitude we bid our host a good day and returned to our office, happy that we would be receiving even more the we ever expected.

Operation Hunger is an organization com

mitted to fighting malnutrition in South Africa but without the generosity of people like Laveshnee Pillay who got Qualcomm Inc. to donate the furniture, our mission would be far more difficult so if you wish to help us or want to find out more about us you can visit: www.operationhunger.org or email us at: info@operationhunger.org

Learning Permaculture at Mqanduli Community Schools

Experiential school learning garden at one of the community schools in Mqanduli.

The kids designed this school permaculture demonstration garden.

They were involved in the establishment right from the start, making composts, raising seedlings, planting the garden and watering.

They are learning throughout all stages.

This helps improve pupils understanding of science subjects as well as gain understanding of how real food is produced as well as learning methodologies.

In growing food and how it works to maintain health and prolong life.

Operation Hunger Reaching New Heights

Charity organisations are always looking for innovative ways to spread the word about their cause and Operation Hunger’s Minnie Okwirry has embarked on a journey to climb Mount Kilimanjaro to raise funds for Operation Hungers permaculture garden projects in South Africa.Minnie is part of a network of ladies who started hiking for fitness and personal goals but she has now decided on a bigger challenge to climb on of the highest summits in Africa whilst change lives! Minnie Okwirry says “Operation Hunger must move into a supporting role of sustainability to tackle poverty and malnutrition in South Africa. We believe these gardens help us in achieving this objective and with the right funding can make a significant difference in communities nationwide.”The no dig permaculture gardens have been successfully supported and implemented by Operation Hungers team and focus on sustainability and not just feeding communities with daily meal but rather making them self-sufficient and teaching them new skills to feed their families in the long term. The Permaculture garden is a lot more than an organic garden. Intelligent design uses free, sustainable energies and resources. It is energy-wise and collaborative to minimise the impact of a site on the surrounding environment. A good design has great potential. It can connect neighbours in communities.
Operation Hunger also hopes that The Kilimanjaro climb will be an annual event where we can support a child each year to tackle the climb with the support of South African citizens. Minnie Okwirry goes on to say “These life changing events build character and help children from disadvantaged backgrounds the opportunity to explore events they thought were only dreams before.”We plead to you for your support in assisting the 4 ladies who have pledged their support, to this activity, by donating any unused hiking equipment, sleeping blankets, boots or jackets that may be used by the team and next years youth team. Along with making any donations to reach the target of R150 000 in 2018.

Donations can be made via EFT or the website and hiking gear con be dropped off at Operation Hunger Head office: Address: 2 King Willow Crescent, Ranjesfontein, Johannesburg.
Tel: (011) 902 4000
email: info@operationhunger.orgBanking Details:
Account Name: Operation Hunger
Account: 62084621202
Branch: 254005
Reference: OHKilimanjaroClimb

No Dig Permaculture Gardens: An inspiration to Mqanduli community

Mqanduli is a village close to Mthatha in the Eastern Cape. The area was named after a nearby hill of Xhosa origin meaning grindstone maker. Umtiza Farmer`s corp is the only agricultural supply company operating in this poorest part of the eastern cape where developing sustainable agricultural systems is widely regarded as holding the best hope of stimulating growth, reduce diseases related to malnutrition and alleviating poverty.
Hence, the introduction of No Dig permaculture concepts by Operation Hunger.

The first garden that we now call Mqanduli Pilot No Dig Permaculture Demonstration garden was established at Mqanduli Community Health centre in June 2017. It was after seeing the way sick people were flocking to the local clinic for treatment of diet related chronic diseases such diabetes, hypertension, osteoarthritis and many others.

Designing a garden that was less demanding in terms of labour and resources. A garden that was purely organic with a diverse of high nutrient crops produced from natural seeds that were free from toxic fertilizers, pesticides and agrichemicals. That was the No Dig garden method.

Making raised beds from pallets

Making nursery pots by recycling empty yogurt and traditional beer containers

Upon the completion of the pilot garden, Operation Hunger organised a community gathering on Mandela day where the community and local stakeholders were invited to come and witness the occasion. There was discussions on the issue of chronic diseases being caused by poor nutrition, wrong eating habits and overuse of prescription medication and agrichemicals and on how synthetic fertilizers, pesticides and genetically engineered foods contribute in the development of certain lifestyle diseases.

Operation Hunger then demonstrated production and use of specific herbs and vegetables to control certain chronic.

A lot of people and organisations present that day were inspired and vowed to have the same gardens established at their places. That was the birth of two more demonstration gardens at Wilo clinic and Mbekweni Health centre.

Using waste material to design no dig gardens: Used pallets for raised beds, cardboard for sheet mulching and grass for compost

The use of high nutrient compost material from domestic animals such as poultry and sheep caused some of the projects being implemented under the auspices of Operation Hunger to venture into poultry projects such as Masimanyane, Ekukwezeni and Thanga. These projects are slowly coming up and with proper support they have the ability to change their livelihoods and community health for better.

The gardens are weed free, self-regenerative and health enhancing due to the diverse range of high nutrient organic crops in one garden. Growing a mixture of herbs, vegetables and fruits and edible weeds go a long way in promoting healthy livelihoods, alleviating poverty, hunger and diseases and that’s what we are doing. With such developments people are beginning to understand the significance of self-help initiatives and healthy eating behaviours.


A flourishing pilot demonstration garden with herbs, vegetables, small fruiting plants, traditional super food and spices.



Operation Hunger in partnership with AECI have embarked on a Hippo Water Roller project in the Free State in Steynsrus.  Operation Hunger’s National Development Coordinator Clement Summerton and Regional Coordinator from Limpopo Solomon Mojela visited the community in September 2017.  They held a meeting with twenty community leaders.  Most of the attendees were between the ages of 20 to 40 years. There was active participation and were well informed of their community.

The township is located in the Northern Free State in Moqhaka Municipality , Fezile Dabi Region / District.  Steynsrus is a township which was established long before which consists of two parts, one part which was developed and the other part less developed due to the influence of the former apartheid system of governance and consisted of only black people. After 1994, the new dispensation broke the barriers and the two areas were integrated into one and the movement of people was freed.There are 5 schools in the area.

Rain is only available from October – February then there is drought through out the year
Seasonal work is available during from December – May and thereafter no income is available at most of the HHs
Poverty is mostly experienced between February up to November  each year
Crime rates increase severely between November and December
Expenditure and credit increases also during September to December each year
Health condition tend to deteriorate in the community during the winter season May to August

The Mapping system was used to depict infrastructures, natural resources, land ownership, settlement pattern, soil types and cropping pattern. This exercise also enabled the participants to freely discuss the roots of their present situation and possible future developments.

Daily Routine Between Men and Women:

This exercise enabled us to understand routine activities among different household members the time of the day. This information helped us to identify critical times for peak labour usage and gender related issues related to overwork of women.

Daily activities

Steynsrus township was not exceptional to social and economic hardships experienced by many black communities throughout the Republic of South Africa.

Group discussion – challenges faced by the community



Unemployment , poverty and lack of skills were highlighted as key problems facing the community. The  HIV & AIDS epidemic, and other communicable diseases, substance abuse,  lack of proper services such as clean & drinkable water supply were also identified.


Wealth ranking: this exercise enabled us to determine the economic attributes of house holds in this particular village. It helped us to understand social – status of the different households in the village. This importunity enables us in identifying the poor for future development planning. The ranking was done by the villages themselves.


300 hippo rollers, three Spaza stands and a garden will be provided to better the livelihood of this village. The poor will be target for these development interventions, prioritizing the elderly, the sick, the disabled and women.
The Spaza stands will be used one each at the Local clinic, taxi rank and at the school. Among goods that will be  sold from the spaza stands vegetables produced from the garden project will also be included .
Participants will be trained on basic business management and marketing skills.
20 participants in total will be involved in the gardening project and six people involved in the Spaza stands.