Hlumelelisa is an AgriSETA accredited training service provider that provides horticultural training to sentenced offenders and youth-at-risk. In the case of sentenced offenders, students are selected in partnership with the Department of Correctional Services (DCS), with whom Hlumelelisa co-administers a rigorous selection process designed to admit only the most committed and self-reliant students. DCS Case Officers, Social Workers and Hlumelelisa work together to monitor the progress of learners during the course, as well as their actions and progress on release.
In the case of youth-at-risk, we partner with community-based organisations to offer training to unemployed young people and persons with disabilities in the form of a horticulture learnership.
Courses are approximately 10 months in length and include horticulture, plant production, business and life skills. Courses take place within Correctional Facilities and in communities-at-risk. The courses are in a modular format and are both theoretical and practical in content. Tests are completed by the students at the end of each module.
There are approximately 15 students per class with one facilitator and one trainee facilitator. Students are awarded a certificate at the end training in recognition of the 15 AgriSETA-accredited modules completed during the course.
The practical component of the training includes the establishment of vegetable gardens and ornamental gardens, the cultivation and planting of trees, and the development of nursery and greenhouse infrastructure on the grounds of the correctional centres. Not in the curriculum, but everywhere in evidence, are the results of the students' free creative expression, the colourful, larger-than-life murals that adorn the walls of the training sites. With creative gardening and artistic flair, they have transformed drab, concrete courtyards into beautiful, green oases.
Another important aspect of the programme is the donation of vegetables and trees to pre-schools, schools and community organisations. In the process, students acquire another invaluable life skill: they learn to be generous, and experience the deep fulfillment that comes with giving, rather than taking. This also promotes restorative justice, as our students, who may have harmed these communities in the past, work to rebuild them, providing food and/or gardens, encouraging communities to accept them back once they are released.
We are currently training at the following training sites:
Leeuwkop Correctional Facility: Medium A (Adult Male)
Leeuwkop Correctional Facility: Medium B (Juvenile)
Leeuwkop Correctional Facility: Medium C (Adult Male – Long term)
Johannesburg Central (Sun City) Correctional Facility: Medium B (Male)
Johannesburg Central (Sun City) Correctional Facility: Female
Boksburg Correctional Facility: Male
Boksburg Correctional Facility: Juvenile
Thembisa Self-help Association of the Disabled (TSHAD)