"I want to be somebody I can be proud about."
Edward Antonius Julie (Eddie) was born in Augrabies in the Northern Cape in 1979 and has been working on the Fund’s Nuweland farm since 2012. He started as a general seasonal worker and has worked his way up to permanent employment as a junior supervisor. His aim is to become a senior supervisor on the farm by the time of the Fund’s exit. His self-motivation, eagerness to learn and strong leadership skills have been noticed by the farm, and he has been selected as a candidate for the Fund’s management training initiative.
Courtesy of the Fund, Eddie has completed agricultural and supervisory training through Skills 4 U, attended a leadership and mentorship programme provided by the Fresh Produce Exporter’s Forum (FPEF), and is currently completing supervisor management training (Grade 9) through the IQ Academy, for which he has elected to share half the costs. He has also received in-house management training with the farm manager.
Eddie’s knowledge about the environmental improvements since acquisition, and his appreciation of the Fund’s social impact initiatives are evident:
“Almost the whole farm has a new irrigation system. We can now measure water usage and make sure we don’t use too much. We have nets over almost all the grapes. That helps and we need less chemicals. We are also trying out new biological material instead of pesticides. We have solar geysers on the houses to give us hot water, we don’t need electricity for that anymore.
“I am living in one of the newly built housing blocks. Now I have a house of bricks, with a window and a flush toilet. There is a crèche near the houses. That’s very special in this area. You don’t have to hire anybody now to come and look after your child. Now this is organized onsite, it is much safer.
“We have a minivan (purchased by the fund) to bring you to the doctor in Kakamas if you need it. On our farm we have two ladies who are in a healthcare training programme. When they finish they can help us and refer us to a nurse. We will have more direct access to healthcare assistance. It is very special in this area to have that.
“I want to complete my studies. I have the opportunity on this farm and I am really proud of what I am doing. I want to do education because I want to become somebody I can be proud about and who my family can be proud about. “