SUSTAINABLE LIVELIHOODS PROGRAMME
Food Justice Collective is the network of 12 PACSA partner organizations operating as one group. These groups fall under PACSA Sustainable Livelihood Progam. Group composition is almost 100% women; each group has one or two men. The age of the group members varies from 20 years to 80 years. Most of the groups are from Msunduzi, local municipality, and two falls under uMshwathi municipality. All group members are involved in livelihood generating programs, from vegetables gardening, grain farming, small livestock such as poultry, pigs and goats, craft and savings and credit.
All FJC member groups are from the rural and semi urban parts of Pietermaritzburg and previously demarcated to be black locations.
Food Justice Collective members have taken to themselves to plan and implement their own activities. The partnership with PACSA has enabled them to networking within their communities, Msunduzi municipality, District and the Province of KwaZulu Natal. Five FJC groups have communal gardens that are used as the common asset to glue the group together. All members of Food Justice Collective members ,over 300 ; have their personal income or food generating activities the groups and individuals were previously concentration of gardening as survival activity.
FJC has nine savings groups; saves money together and avail it to its members for credits on 10% interest a month. Savings and credits groups have presented the alternative economic system that cuts all the red tapes and protects the poor against financial institutions and Mashonisas/Loan Sharks.
To respond to the high levels of poverty and unemployment, FJC women dominated groups has come up with new way of working that confronts their challenges head on. FJC as network, in partnership with PACSA, acquire land through negotiations and permission to occupy agreements. Following the principle of unity, solidarity and working together, all the groups organize to plough, weed and harvest and share the harvest with every participating member of the group. Most these communal planted land are for rain fed crops such as Potatoes, Maize and beans.
Within the FJC, not all members are farmers, there are crafters who come together learn from each member on how to make certain crafts thus enhancing the skill depth and perform the horizontal learning. Crafters are making crafts from beads, papers, scoobi doo, wood, sewing and various innovative materials.