The Hemp Project

Yiza Ekhaya needs a new, safe premises to continue its valuable function of feeding children and adults on medication in the community.
Hemp is a topical, environmentally friendly building material.
We decided to combine the two to rebuild Yiza from Hemp and create a building that reflects the love and hope founder Mickey brings to her community.

Why Hemp as a Building Material?

  • Hemp is a natural, sustainable and carbon neutral building material.
  • Hemp is fast growing and grown with low need for water and pesticides.
  • Hemp can be used as the raw material for bricks, chipboard and insulation.
  • It is non toxic, it breaths and regulates moisture.
  • It also has excellent insulation (not too hot or cold as current RDP housing solutions tend to be).

Why Build Yiza Ekhaya from Hemp?


It is currently illegal to grow Industrial Hemp in South Africa. We would like to build the Yiza Ekhaya Soup Kitchen from hemp to show it as an environmentally sustainable, cost effective and superior building material for RDP housing. Not only would Yiza Ekhaya benefit from having a building made from this natural material but it would also serve to showcase the potential for industrial Hemp to create opportunities, jobs and sustainable natural building materials for building homes in South Africa.

How did Yiza and Hemp come together?”


GreenHome is a South African compostable food packaging supplier that has had an ongoing relationship with Mickey and the Yiza Ekhaya Soup Kitchen. Last year, Mickey was asked to move the structure she currently runs her soup kitchen from.
Together, they worked on plans, had some discussions with builders and decided it was time to start fund raising to build Mickey a basic, safe structure to continue her work from.
But in fact she needed a good, supportive premises to help her to do her important work.
Catherine Morris, being a true believer in the superiority of natural raw materials, decided to join forces with Tony Budden from Hemporium and Oliver Wolf, the architect behind South Africa’s first 2 Hemp houses. They loved the idea of building a Hemp building as a community center.
And so the dream of rebuilding Yiza Ekhaya from Hemp was born.