The Story of 9 Incredible Women and a Goat

On my first assignment at the Philippolis Digital Learning Campus (PDLC) in the Free State, I was expecting to be writing a story about digital education. Instead, I want to tell you about nine incredible women and a goat.

At the front of the PDLC, the Good Work Foundation (GWF) team planted a vegetable garden that helps the community, especially the soup kitchen. One day before I arrived, a goat had managed to sneak in and raid the garden, leaving behind only the pink stones that were used to decorate the garden. Determined to prevent future goat raids, on the day I arrived, this all women PDLC team said they were going to fence the garden late in the afternoon. Within just two hours, the team had planned and erected steel mesh fence. Everyone was hands on hammering, pulling and sawing to ensure that the fence was up before the end of the day. No handyman, no fence specialist and no builders. Just a team of women who “make a plan.” Two hours. Two hours! Incredible teamwork and a wonderful way to meet the PDLC team.


Suspect number 1.


Guilty. (He is quite big – we reckon Lona Louw is quite brave)


“When a goat decides to break into your vegetable garden and eat everything up, you don’t call garden assist, you get off your office chair, grab some tools and get down to work.” – Lulani Vermeulen, GWF Free State Project Coordinator.


Attaching the base wire to the bottom of the poles.


Lona Louw (English and Open Learning Academy Facilitator) rolls the wire mesh to towards the garden.


Lona Louw and Milla van Wyk (PDLC Project Coordinator) hammer in the steel rods to balance the corner wooden poles. (Don’t ask us how these ladies know how to do all of this – we are flummoxed).


Milla saws slots into the wooden poles for the steel rods.


The finished product – goat proof! (Hopefully)


This morning, when they saw the fence, this group of billy’s headed for the hills.


It is a team such as this one that pushes you to get out of bed early on cold days, pushes you to feel proud to go and work to make a contribution in your community in every way. Two is certainly better than one and this PDLC team proved that.

Written and photographed by Accolade Ubisi.