The challenge is not in providing food to developing countries, but in creating a long-term solution to the food depravation issue, so communities can become self-sufficient. Therefore, we developed a solution: Via various techniques and training, communities learn to build skills to provide food sustainably all year round to their families without outside help. From there, My World in A Garden, Vertical Food Garden was developed as a part of My Arms Wide Open initiatives in Africa.
Over 90% of children in Africa have only one meal a day and most also suffer from HIV/AIDS. Families can only access unhealthy food, which increases the likelihood of them getting life-threatening diseases and becoming handicapped even further. The root of the issue can be seen in a lack of education and an incredibly low employment rate within communities, leaving most families jobless and eliminating healthy food as an option.
We built vegetable gardens that are maintained by the communities themselves in Africa. The gardens have a double impact: providing fresh, healthy vegetables and fruits daily to hundreds of families and providing employment within the community. Each garden employs 8 persons and generates monthly revenue into communities, which also supports the ongoing maintenance of the garden. We could raise employment opportunities in each community by 20% per year and develop a long-term solution.
The initiative of "My World My Garden" targets all three key factors: business skills, community engagement and capacity building. This project has created a funding model built around food growing and harvesting toward never-hungry communities throughout Africa. With the help of our donors, we are looking to build 10 garden in Africa by the end of 2017.