We are writing as we approach the growing season in Rwanda, as we begin to enroll new families into our program at 3 health centers. We will partner with at least 105 families this season, providing them with a package of seeds and tree seedlings, small animals, and know-how to improve the health of their families. Our package aims to reduce household hunger, increase household yield and dietary diversity, and give families to knowledge to take action and prevent malnutrition in the future.
Over the past summer, we graduated two new groups of mothers from our training program. Now these groups are forming their own cooperatives and obtaining land to start their own community gardens. While our program invests in individual families, we provide regular training to groups. It's so inspiring for us to see these actions of solidarity and self-sufficiency after our training ends.
This season we have a great new team of Global Health Corps Fellows (www.ghcorps.org/) who will help us evaluate and grow this program within Rwanda. They will join our staff of agricultural extension workers and mother educators to assist the families we serve on their path to nutritional independence.
This season we will also introduce a new mobile data collection tool, that will allow us to measure and communicate the hunger, dietary diversity and yield data for the families that we serve in real time.
The tragic famine in Somalia is on all of our radars these days, and while severe drought, prohibitive policies and violence have undoubtedly led to the huge scale of this disaster, one preventable solution to famine of this magnitude is investing in families to grow more of their own food. If we can help families grow more food now, they will have more food for their children, more food to sell, and more food to save in the future. Addressing these food injustices at the onset is critical to prevent future calamnity.
By the end of the year we still hope to reach 460 families--a total of 2300 individuals--to give each of them the opportunities to take home vegetables and participate in education sessions weekly,to grow their own nutritious foods, and to join an inspiring community of families taking tangible initiative towards improving their health.
Thank you for continuing to help us cultivate good food and good health,
The Gardens for Health team