As a Fairtrade farm, Piekenierskloof takes the wellbeing of our farm workers and their families very seriously. A portion of our proceeds are allotted to community projects, which are selected by the Piekeniersfkloof Fairtrade committee. In this way, the workers decide what they need most, and can use their funds, together, to best meet those needs. One of the major projects borne out of a partnership between the farm itself, and the Fairtrade committee, is the Piekenierskloof crèche.
As a worker at a wine farm, most of your day is spent in the fields or the cellar. Often, their partners also work during the day to help make ends meet, necessitating a place to care for their children – this is where the crèche comes in.
Picture jungle gyms, colourful toys and wall murals. Think of kids running around with their friends, playing games on the grassy lawns in the sun. When I went there to take photographs, the atmosphere was fun and lighthearted, and the playschool seemed almost idyllic for children.
With a medical station on hand, the children are ensured a place of safety and care. Lessons take place, including computer literacy, in which the kids are taught how to navigate the digital world which they will no doubt have to play a part in someday – a set of skills which, even in this day and age, put them far ahead of their contemporaries who aren’t lucky enough to have access to these sorts of facilities.
Something as simple as a crèche is often overlooked, but through hard work, good business practices and adhering to the Fairtrade model, workers have a space to voice their needs, and, as a farming community, we are able to see them through.
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