We just held a community Thanksgiving in Rwanda where we cooked for and served over 900 members of our community. Despite working in situations of food deficit, we also believe in the celebration of food and the bringing together of communities around shared harvests. The entire Gardens for Health staff peeled, chopped, washed, boiled, and laughed side by side and stayed up all night preparing our Thanksgiving meal. The celebration included original songs, dances, and testimonies from mothers and health center staff about the impact of our program.
We hope that next year, you are perhaps able to join us?
In the meanwhile, please read this recent story of change from the community:
We met Dancilla at one of our partner health clinics, where three of her children were being treated for malnutrition. Severely stunted and chronically malnourished, Dancilla's children were given supplementary food aid for eight weeks. The health clinic also connected Dancilla to our team of agricultural agents and community educators.
For four months, Dancilla participated in weekly health and nutrition education sessions and cooking demonstrations with a group of other mothers. Moses, one of Gardens for Health's agricultural agents, made regular visits to her home, and provided her with seeds and seedlings for her garden and chickens for egg production. She is now growing cabbages, beets, carrots, amaranth, zucchini, beans, and potatoes.
The path to good health is long, but Dancilla is already noting positive changes. Before, she had not known how hygiene contributes to malnutrition, and now she is consciously washing her children's hands. Before, she had prepared maize porridge for her children, and now she strives to provide balanced meals. Moreover, Dancilla says that before, she didn't think she had any value. Now she realizes that she brings value to her family, and community. After graduating from the Gardens for Health training program, the mothers in her group formed a cooperative, and elected Dancilla President.
This is change we believe in.
And your support makes this kind of change happen. We are so grateful.
Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Holidays from the Gardens for Health team,
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