What We Do
A Success Story
Crossroads has been working in the Blackburn community, north of Durban, South Africa for over three years. During this time various projects have been undertaken to address the escalating poverty children and their families face in this community – temporary medical mission clinics have been established to address chronic disease and sickness, a daily breakfast feeding program for the 240 children at the Primary School has been established to address the severe malnutrition these children face, and frequent blanket and shoes distribution projects have been conducted to cloth the children during the winter months.
Recently added to this list is the creation of a “Veggie Tunnel”. A “veggie tunnel” is a continuously reproducing vegetable garden canopied by shade cloth in the form of a tunnel and housing 1,000 vegetable plants. The shade cloth acts as a shelter from the harsh African sun, heavy winds and pollution. These “veggie tunnels” not only provide an ongoing food supply for 50 families but excess produce is sold at nearby local grocery stores generating an ongoing source of income for these families as well. In as little as 2 week’s time, one can begin to see the growth and benefits of the veggie tunnel gardens.
On the 30th of September volunteers began harvesting the first vegetables from this veggie tunnel – a 5 week old spinach crop. Sixty neatly tied bunches of spinach were harvested and made ready for market. Thirty bunches where sold to a local independent grocery store for a profit of 75.00 Rands ($7.45). The remaining thirty bunches were marketed at local petrol stations and a few businesses. Total profit -- 165.00 Rands ($16.38).
Crossroads is looking to expand this program by establishing additional veggie tunnels which will enable us to more fully effect positive change in the lives of the children and their families in the Blackburn community. Each veggie tunnel produces exceptional quality vegetables at a fraction of the cost of traditional ground gardening and has a “life span” of six months before replanting is required.
The Blackburn veggie tunnel project was made possible as a result of funding by the Umhlanga Netcare. If you are interested in helping to fund a veggie tunnel contact the Crossroads International, USA office at 417-833-4386 or via email at
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