Home Institution

Brandeis University

Publication Date

Fall 2012

Program Name

South Africa: Community Health and Social Policy


The aim of this study is to provide an in-depth review and analysis of past and present programs focused on food security and nutrition at The Valley Trust, in the Valley of a Thousand Hills, KwaZulu-Natal. The Valley Trust is a socio-medical health promotion NGO that works to improve the health of the communities it serves through development, empowerment, and educational initiatives. The study will seek to provide an overview of the various activities The Valley Trust has engaged in over its long history related to improving the nutritional status of communities it influences.

Data was collected on the history of The Valley Trust through an extensive historical review of the archives at The Valley Trust library and of their official website. To get a glimpse of the current activities of the organization and the state of nutrition and food security promotion in one community, an interview was conducted with a staff member, the site of the Integrated and Sustainable Livelihoods Programme was visited, and a group of Community Care Givers in a nearby rural community was interviewed. The effects of past Valley Trust programs were explored through interviews with individuals in two rural communities in the Valley of a Thousand Hills who continue to make use home-based gardening.

The Valley Trust has a rich history of providing nutrition intervention programs to communities in the area. Restructuring and refocusing in past years has led to many of the original food security- related programs being phased out or evolving into new, more relevant or practical initiatives. More recently The Valley Trust has encountered difficulties with funding which has led to much reduction in available personnel and current programs. However, past work by The Valley Trust in bringing food production techniques to communities has been beneficial for some community members, and The Trust plans on refocusing on agricultural and nutrition training in the near future.


Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Human and Clinical Nutrition | International and Community Nutrition | Nutrition | Public Health


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