Hlumelelisa is a South African registered NPO and PBO with Section 18A status. This means that donations from SA taxpayers are tax deductible.

We are also an AgriSETA-accredited training service provider.

Hlumelelisa was established in 2003 in order to mitigate the ever growing crime rate and urban decay in South Africa. Originally, the only aim was to “green” the City by growing trees in correctional centres and planting them in township communities. However, “growing people” and restoring dignity and hope soon became the first priority, and training in horticulture was chosen as the ideal vehicle to bring about this renewal. 

The first training site was established at the Leeuwkop Correctional Centre, with a group of 15 students participating in a three-month, informal life skills training course. It soon became apparent that a more formal, comprehensive intervention was required to achieve the personal transformation that was the primary aim of the programme.

In 2006, the full 10-month training programme in horticulture was introduced, incorporating AgriSETA-accredited modules. Over time, services were extended to other at-risk groups, particularly unemployed youth and people with disabilities, and training in life skills and entrepreneurial skills development was incorporated.

To date, more than 900 students have graduated from our programme.

Almost all our facilitators are graduates of the Programme. We continue to identify those who excel with a view to taking them on as trainees, continuing to invest in their development, and promoting them in due course to full-time positions as Training Facilitators.

The training course includes horticulture, permaculture, 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 National Certificate upon completion of training.

The practical component of the training includes the establishment of vegetable gardens and ornamental gardens and the development of 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 preschools, schools and community organisations. In the process, students acquire another invaluable life skill: they learn to be generous, and experience the deep fulfilment 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.

Our focus areas:

  1. Education

Provide incarcerated people and people at risk with a practical education programme and credible qualifications in horticulture, landscaping and entrepreneurial and life skills, in order that they may work themselves out of poverty;

  1. Rehabilitation & Job Creation

Assist incarcerated people and people at risk to access employment opportunities. Develop life skills, including patience, commitment and responsibility. Build bridges and aid in the acceptance of incarcerated people back into the community;

  1. Environment

Establish greenhouses and organic vegetable gardens within the correctional centres and outside areas. Donate vegetables to organisations serving vulnerable people and participate in greening projects.

Pledge support

Growing opportunities