Our school garden project, “Garden of Hope" was launched on August 24, 2021, and aims to support the ecosystem by providing fruits and vegetables for students living in impoverished communities. Over 90% of the children in these schools live in households that can only afford one meal a day and they struggled to actively participate in daily school activities due to hunger. In collaboration with IDEAS For Us and One Tree Planted, Dufatanye Organization implemented this project in two schools in Nyanza district. Currently, more than 2,000 students and over 80 staff benefit from this project.
The objective of the project is to help the children improve their health and focus on school activities with full stomachs through nutritious meals. We have planted 700 seeds of six types of vegetables (cabbage, carrots amaranth, spinach, carrots, and lemongrass), as well as 40 seedlings of three varieties of fruit trees (mango, avocado and papaya). According to reports from the schools’ administration, the health and attendance of the students have improved significantly since the school gardens were established. Previously, the children were malnourished and were missing classes due to illnesses. The school gardens have become an important part of the schools where the teachers conduct practical lessons with the children and the vegetables and fruits provide the school community with all the vitamins and nutrients they need. As their health has improved, so has their academic performance.
The school garden doesn't just have a positive impact on the children. Parents, teachers, and the local community also benefit. With the experience gained from tending and planting a vegetable garden, the students and teachers go home and pass this knowledge on to their families and plant their own vegetable gardens. The neighborhood has also been motivated by this project to plant their own vegetable gardens. This creates a chain reaction that not only supplies the school with food in an affordable and sustainable way, but gradually also the entire neighborhood.