Summer 2015 Study Abroad

Urban Agriculture: Food, Inequality, and Sustainability in South Africa.

This program focuses on the political, economic, and social aspects of food insecurity in the Western Cape region of South Africa, and engages students in local organizations dedicated to providing food access for economically vulnerable populations. We will examine the challenges of providing access to affordable healthy food to urban residents in the Western Cape. We will investigate the ways in which food security influences and is influenced by history, geography, sociology, health, education, and economics. We will also explore the innovative strategies used by local organizations working to improve access to healthy, affordable food.

Week 1 (July 12-18, 2015)

Students will participate in formal lectures on South African/Western Cape food security and urban gardening practices by South African scholars/experts at Stellenbosch University. After lecture, students will spend the day working with students from the Lynedoch Primary School. The school is located on the grounds of the Sustainability Institute, an international living and learning center that provides a space for people to explore an approach to creating a more equitable society that lives in a way that sustains the eco-system. Lynedoch pre- and Primary School attended by 450 children who come mainly from the families of farmworkers.

As we transition from Stellenbosch to Cape Town, we will tour two very different urban farms: the Oranjezicht City Farm and the Philippi Horticultural Area.

Week 2 (July 19-25)

We will spend our second week at Soil for Life, an organization based in the neighborhood of Constania. Soil for Life trains representatives from surrounding townships to serve as home garden mentors in their own communities. We will tour the organization, and then spend four days working on community gardens with the organization in local schools and community centers.

Week 3 (July 26-August 1)

For the final week in Cape Town, we will work with Tyisa Nabanye, an informal settlement established on land owned by the South African Defense Force. Tyisa Nabanye is situated between the affluent neighborhood of Tamboerskloof, and the historically significant Cape Malay neighborhood of Bo Kaap. After a tour of the farm, we will learn around land rights and access, and work with the organization to expand the farm and network with its neighboring communities.

We then return to Stellenbosch to enjoy a wrap-up dinner and discussion before returning to North Carolina.

Interested students can contact me at or 704-687-5736.

More information will be made available on the Office of Education Abroad website

South Africa Study Abroad flyer

Cape Town Urban Agriculture flyer