Updated: Dec 12, 2022
When we walked into Nourish Eco-Village, the word that came to mind was community. There were many programs working simultaneously together and holistically integrated. We soon learned the word Ubuntu and felt it all around us. Ubuntu is the capacity in African culture to express compassion, reciprocity, dignity, harmony and humanity in the interests of building and maintaining community with justice and mutual caring. Ubuntu is not just an African philosophy but a spirituality and an ethic of African traditional life.
Started in 2011 in South Africa, Nourish was created to link conservation efforts with community issues such as poverty, education, food insecurity, and unemployment. Nourish Eco Village offers sustainable solutions in a cultural and multigenerational model.
Nourish directly supports the local village adjacent to the Eco Village. The four pillars of the Nourish program are Education Pathways, Community Development, Sustainable Tourism, and Enterprise. When you volunteer at Nourish, you receive an immersive experience where you learn about the culture and apply your skills and passions.
A preschool on site, educates children from the earliest ages.
The Green Kidz club is an after school program that teaches children environmental education. Field trips to the local game parks teach students about the animals.
A farm at the eco village provides food and teaches the local villagers farming skills. The red chilis grown provide business opportunities to community members who use it to make and sell hot pepper sauce.
Nourish is intergenerational. A trio of
grannies cook over 120 meals each day for the children and adults on site.
Nothing goes to waste at the eco village everything is recycled and repurposed. Floors are made with bottle caps, cans and bottles are turned into eco bricks and used to
Accommodations are on site at the Shik Shack. They include comfortable tents and cabins and meals. Tourism is one of the pillars of the Nourish model. Tourism employs staff from the local community and volunteers help with the Nourish programs.
Enterprise is an important part of Nourish. Members of the local community learn skills such as sewing, jewelry making, farming, and computer programming. Their wares are sold at the enterprise center.
What a difference a week can make! A group of girls from Belgium came as volunteers. They were asked to use recyclable materials to make a playground for a preschool in the area. In one week, they created a beautiful space for the children to play.
If you go: Just down the road 20 minutes is the world renowned Kruger National Park. Combining a trip to Nourish and a game safari in Kruger is easy. The Nourish staff can help you plan this.
The cost to volunteer at Nourish Eco Village is $300 per person a week which includes lodging, meals, and transfers to the local airport. For more information: https://www.nourishecovillage.com/sustainable-farming
Getting There: Fly to Johannesburg, South Africa. Take a one hour flight from Johannesburg to Hoedspruit. You can also request an automobile shuttle from Johannesburg, which takes about 6 hours.
When to go. Our favorite time of year to visit Africa is June or July. Since they are below the equator, June, July, and August is their winter. The weather is perfect during the day (usually around 70-75 degrees F) and mosquitoes aren't a problem. Mornings on safaris were chilly, so bring warm clothes for the mornings.
Medications: check the CDC website for recommended vaccinations and if malaria pills are recommended. Your primary care physician can prescribe the medications you will need and make sure you are up to date on your vaccinations. We took medicine for typhoid, which we got from our County Medical Center.