- Renshia Manuel drew inspiration from her experience as a struggling mother to create a company that allows Cape Townians to grow fruit and vegetables in their own homes
- From her home in violent gang hotspot Hanover Park, Renshia designed her Grow Box products to be accessible to those in all kinds of living situations
- Grow Box continues to thrive and help those in need, including male drug addicts in recovery, who help put together the company’s boxes
Renshia Manuel is the creator and CEO of Grow Box, a company that is bringing practical gardening to Cape Townians in need.
Although Grow Box offers many services, including selling seedlings to NGOs and businesses, the company’s main product is a grow-your-own raised wooden box that allows users to have access to fresh, organic vegetables on an ongoing basis.
Manuel is from Hanover Park, an area of Cape Town that is notorious for its high levels of gang violence and poverty, and her own past experiences as an unemployed mother of four children, trying to provide food for her family, inspired her to turn to ‘micro-gardening.’
"The great thing about Grow Box is that it can be used by people living in dense, high rise flats with small balconies, as well as backyard dwellers or residents of informal settlements," explains Manuel.
This means that other families growing up in difficult areas are able to have access to fresh fruit and vegetables no matter what. Manuel’s start-up Grow Box kit includes seedlings for a variety of produce, so users will be able to get involved with growing their own food with the help of just water and sunlight.
"The box is assembled by a nearby rehab centre for men, called The Arc," Manuel told Red Bull South Africa in an interview, “It's like a halfway house that helps men who're addicted to drugs and alcohol or have been released from prison and are busy transitioning to normal life.”
On top of this, Grow Box continues to help bring fresh food to many Cape Townians, no matter their living circumstance, led by the leadership and warmth of the green-fingered Renshia Manuel.
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