Our involvement with the farm workers from table grape farms in the Western Cape is a project we adopted from the corporate responsibility leg of The Grape Company. It was initially done as way of giving something back to the community who plays such a vital, but often overlooked part in the production and harvesting of export grapes.
The Grape Company joined hands with the Waterval Bediening Trust and hosted a weekend where we catered for almost 200 farm workers from the grape harvesting areas of Piketberg, Halfmanshof, Wellington, Paarl and the Hex River Valley. The program facilitated by Waterval Bediening for the weekend includes small group discussions, one-on-one counseling, lectures, praise and worship sessions and some much deserved private time. From The Grape Company’s perspective it was an opportunity to serve the people and in that give thanks for the effort put in during the harvest.
The feedback from the camp was so positive that we could not ignore the impact it had made. There was an obvious need for such a camp apart from The Grape Company’s prerogative to give thanks. The spiritual uplifting and social equipping imparted here together with the personal attention given to individuals, is much more than a gift received by the farm workers involved; it is recognition of their basic human worth.
Since adopting this project we at The Grape Community have made it an annual event that we manage in partnership with Waterval Bediening. Last year we catered for almost 220 farm workers. Management and volunteers from The Grape Community join the camp on the Saturday eve where we take the opportunity to cook dinner for all the workers involved and share a meal with them.
Feedback remains immensely positive and since last year we have had certain farmers joining the cause with the provision of financial support.