Pride in the Garden
Murakoze Cane! (Thank you very much)
Thank you for all the effort you have provided in support of the Burundi 4-H School Gardening program. This past February, our Washington State University team of faculty, staff and volunteers spent 12 days in Burundi visiting our 4-H partners and each of the six Burundi 4-H Sister Schools. It was a powerful experience to be able to see the gardens first hand and witness the difference the 4-H School Gardens have made in the lives of thousands of children, their teachers, families and communities. We were welcomed everywhere we went with overwhelming enthusiasm and kindness. The students and teachers expressed so much gratitude and love for the 4-H program. The gardens have provided much needed nutrition to between 600 – 1000 children each year for the past four years and have helped the students develop knowledge and skills for growing food at home. As a result of participating in the school gardening program, students have a strong sense of pride and self-determination, and have increased self-confidence. We were astounded by the progress that had been made with such little financial support. The Burundian people are intelligent, innovative, frugal and have a strong sense of community. Whatever is learned or gained by one is shared with all.
Although the students were excited to be a part of 4-H, that was topped only by their delight to receive new soccer balls. New soccer balls are rare and extremely expensive in Burundi so when we presented 9 new balls to each of the six schools the students were cheering with excitement. The picture shows the delight in their faces while playing with the new balls.
During our time in Burundi, we trained 4-H educators, school teachers, and community members in food preservation techniques, 4-H program methodology, and Play for Peace cooperative games. Play for Peace is an international program that brings together children, youth, and organizations in communities affected by conflict, using cooperative play to create laughter, compassion, and peace. Cooperative play is a universal way for people to come together and learn. Play is used as an experiential learning tool and a catalyst for inspiring people from different backgrounds to reach across barriers and boundaries. This model of youth and community development has many overlapping tenets with the 4-H program methodology and Burundian leaders were delighted to learn the new program and excited to use the cooperative games with their students. We were fortunate that two of our team members were experienced Play for Peace facilitators and were able to share this knowledge with our Burundian partners and 4-H Sister Schools.
As always we are grateful to you, our donors, as you have made all of this possible. Please know that you have made a difference in the world that has not gone unnoticed.
Learn more about Play for Peace here: https://www.playforpeace.org/solution
Play for Peace