“No matter your place in the ranks of your organization, your ability to initiate change hinges on how you inspire yourself and others to do great work”.
So, what does it take to inspire great work? “Get to a higher purpose”, says Professor Robert E. Quinn who is in the top 1% of professors cited in organizational behavior textbooks. “Pursuing a higher purpose makes work more rewarding than doing it just for the purpose of obtaining profit, and it, in turn, leads to significantly better results for the company.”
Our Own Higher Purpose
At Mint Group USA, we firmly believe that our Higher Purpose is to make a lasting impact on South Africa by positively influencing the prevailing socio-economic conditions and changing the current trajectory through education and more specifically through Early Childhood Development (ECD) interventions.
Mint Group has partnered with ECD Non-Profit, Ekukhanyeni, whose sole focus is to uplift ECD Centres in marginalised communities into ECD Centres of Excellence. It is estimated that 3 million South African children under 5 years do not attend an ECD Centre and jointly with other like-minded donors we are seeking to effect positive change by enabling 500 000 children through ECDs by 2030.
Educate, Nourish, Empower
So, what about the vegetables? I hear you asking. Well, Ekukhanyeni operates under three strategic pillars:
- Educate- we educate children, ECD teachers and agricultural entrepreneurs
- Nourish- we feed our children twice a day and also establish food gardens for food security
- Empower- we train and mentor entrepreneurs to be successful in operating their own ECD Centres and equip and train agri-entrepreneurs to successfully run their own agri-businesses
Recently, foreign donor funding was received from a generous benefactor in Lichtenstein which brought to life an incredible project that transcends all three strategic pillars. As a result of this funding, an agri-business market garden was established and vegetable gardens were established in the 6 large growing tunnels in the Lawley community in Gauteng, South Africa.
This agricultural-entrepreneurship pilot project is an income-generating opportunity to feed and nourish the children in our beneficiary ECD Centres and sustain 20 young unemployed ladies from the Lawley community.
The Win-Win of Giving Back
To empower these ladies, they underwent skills development through a series of Food Security training workshops with the aim of establishing the 6-tunnel market garden agri-business. The next stage of mentorship coaching began with Ekukhanyeni’s accredited facilitators, who guided project members on all food garden and agri-business components of the initiative to ensure smooth rollout of the project and the capacity to continue the project after the 1-year pilot phase concludes.
The first vegetable harvest has been exceptional and fresh, locally grown produce is being sold to the 30 ECD Centres for the children to consume with the excess produce sold to the community. This availability has brought convenience and created both social and economic investment in the local community. This Higher Purpose intervention has resulted in a true win-win-win for unemployed youth, children and community members!
Mint Group’s Higher Purpose focus (and, of course, the vegetables) has positively impacted the community in so many socio-economic ways and set them on a totally different socio-economic trajectory. By being part of an organization like Mint Group, Higher Purpose is tangible, one could even say you could taste the ….…vegetables!