‘It’s an immense sacrifice,’ many would say, but for Alpheus Mashile, a self-motivated individual with an entrepreneurial vision, the dream is larger than himself. Here is a man who looks up at the sky, predicts the weather and thanks God for a fruitful day ahead.

Preparing the right soil for vegetation in an informal settlement where people are nestled nearly on top of one another, is no joke; yet, Alpheus Mashile stands in the gap for his community.

Zandspuit is a township situated in the northern suburbs of Johannesburg and the people need all the help they can get to improve the quality of life. Survival may be extreme for them all, but the opportunities for sustainable agriculture, education, and enterprise development should compel us to zealous undertakings.

A farmer, a visionary, and a community leader is easy to identify when the impoverished people of Zandspuit cry out for a helping hand. This is why Umsizi’s NPO programme identified the opportunity to partner with this enthusiastic farmer.

Impophomo (NPO) donated 6000 vegetable seedlings to Alpheus that will enlarge his capacity in providing the livelihood solutions everyone needs while forming a plan to develop himself as an expert farmer. Umsizi’s enterprise development programmes mobilise solutions for innovators to reach their dreams in business, dreams that would otherwise seem impossible.

Therefore, Umsizi has run a small-farmer development programme in Zandspruit, including training, mentorship, and infrastructure provision. Alphaeus has been one of Umsizi’s leading farmers who is also running a feeding scheme from the community. Umsizi has launched a Broad-Based Agricultural and Livelihood Programme extending from Zandspruit to Lion Park to develop many more communities and farmers.

When the African sun hides behind the debris and the overcast gloom of the day, the elderly, the poor, the disabled, all gather in line with an empty cup, waiting their turn for a single meal. Alpheus stands behind his soup kitchen, filling many cups, and greets them one by one with a humble smile and a promise-filled greeting that sparks enough hope for tomorrow.

The quality of life in this township improves when locals are empowered in partnership with our engagement and gracious contribution. Today, Alpheus is one of many opportunists who will engage in the ordinary that will ultimately escalate to the extraordinary.

Join us and get involved in changing lives for a better future. Partner with us today.