My World in a Garden - Sister Walls

by My Arms Wide Open
Thank you!
Thank you!

Healthy Food = Healthy Brain = More Opportunities

The next step in the My Arms Wide Open’s My World My Garden cause and program aims to make more food available to more children and the seniors within the Bergnek Community, My World in a Garden, vertical gardens. 

Seniors?

Yes, we specifically called out Seniors in the Bergnek Community. Why? Well, it is more often than the Grandparents who are looking after and raising the children on a day to day basis. The GoGo’s (As Granma’s are affectionately known) really do keep the community alive and running. They look after all children, not just their own relatives and it is critical that they have healthy nutrition to be able to meet the challenge. It is also crucial for children to maintain the bond between the aged and youth, helping children to ground themselves and know that they are taken care of by their GoGo’s.

No small task 

At this time of the year, it is peak summer in Bergnek and with the lack of water the community is struggling to keep the gardens going. South Africa in general is experiencing a major draught across the country to the point that even Johannesburg metro had to go with out water for a few days last month. We are asking you to support our 'One Brick at at Time' and the My World in a Garden projects as we need the water project to be completed so that we can help the community feed more of the children and families in the community.

With that being said we need additional vertical gardens in Bergnek so that we can ultimately turn the gardens into a full time entrepreneurial opportunity for members of the community, as well. It is by no means a small feat to build and sustain these gardens systems that until now are supported and maintained so willingly members of the community who give their time and scarce financial resources to support and sustain the My World in a Garden vertical gardens.

How about making a new donation today? Making a donation of $25 right now, will help children and families in need, in the Bergnek Community. Making it a recurring donation will feed the children of Bergnek all year long.

This coming year we are determined to build three more walls in Bergnek at strategic locations in the community that enable the elderly community members to tend the walls and get their vegetables without too far of a walk.

Each wall costs around $3,500 to build, in rural South Africa. We really need your support!

Let’s start 2016 with a huge effort and DONATE NOW! 

GRATITUDE

Whatever you decide, please do it today! The girls, women and children we serve extend a warm smile and heartfelt ‘thank you’ for your support. We are all grateful for your support.

With our deepest Gratitude,

The My Arms Wide Open Family of Communities

The little mouths that you can help feed
The little mouths that you can help feed

Spring is here!

In the global south spring is sprung and it's time to grow more food in the Bergnek Community, My World In a Garden, vertical gardens. 

What's new this growing season

This season we are upgrading the technology in the Bergnek vertical garden, to increase production volume from the walls. By fitting large cloth envelopes into the frame of the wall instead of the bottle system we have been using, we are able to plant more plants in each vertical garden and thereby increase food production.

All I want for the holidays... 

We are hoping that you will support us to fund the changes we are making to the vertical gardens in Bergnek with the technology that we have proven in Warren's Wall, at the Ray-CAM Cooperative in the downtown Eastside of Vancouver. In that particular wall we have been able to produce enough food to meet the needs of 150 children each day. 

With the updates we are hoping that we will be able to put all the vegetable needs for the children of Bergnek on their holiday tables for meals over the holidays and as well as providing for their everyday needs.

How about making a new donation today? Making a donation of $25 right now, will help children and families in need, in the Bergnek Community. The perfect gift for the holiday season! Making it a recurring donation will feed the children of Bergnek all year long.

This coming year we are determined to build three more walls in Bergnek at strategic locations in the community that enable the community members to tend the walls and get their vegetables without too far of a walk.

Each wall costs around $3,500 to build, in rural South Africa. We really need your support!

Take advantage of allowable deductions and make your donation a tax deduction for 2015 and DONATE NOW!

GRATITUDE

Whatever you decide, please do it today! The girls, women and children we serve extend a warm smile and heartfelt ‘thank you’ for your support. We are all grateful for your support.

With our deepest Gratitude,

The My Arms Wide Open Family of Communities

Happy little people!
Happy little people!
My World in a Garden
My World in a Garden

We're getting more and more requests 

We've been receiving more interest in our My World In a Garden - Sister Walls' program as other communities learn about the food production volume from our vertical gardens and as communities hear more about our GirlStuff program. It's no coincidence the two programs are connected. 

What's the connection between GirlStuff with My World in a Garden?

When we first designed the program we realized that getting girls to come back to school was more than just providing them with the necessary menstrual supplies so taht they could stay in school all month, it also required us to find a solution for the food they needed to take home to their families each day and each week. As a result we connected the My World In a Garden program with the GirlStuff program.

Help us build more gardens

This coming spring in Bergnek we will be making a big change on the first Bergnek Community wall we installed in 2012. We will be moving to a 'pocket' system that gives us a greater yield from the vertical garden. You could be there with us!

There are a number of opportunities for you to help us build more My World in a Garden, Vertical Gardens. You can actually join us on a trip to and experience the magic and beauty of Africa yourself and we'd love to have you join us. You can get more information about taking the trip at: My World in a Garden.

You can make a donation to help us fund the purchase of the materials we need for to build each of the gardens.

You can forward this message to family and friends and ask them to help you support the women, girls, men and children of Bergnek as well

Whatever path you choose, we are grateful for your support. 

The connection between food security and menstrual supplies

We highly recommend that you also visit our 'My Arms Wide Open - Pads4Girls' page to see how we combine the work we do at GirlStuff, which attracts girls back to school, and the food they grow in our 'My World in a Garden' vertical gardens, which together, helps to keep girls in school longer.

There are more young girls to help and YOUR Contributions and DONATIONS MAKE the DIFFERENCE

You can support the My Arms Wide Open, ‘My World In a Garden - Sister Walls’ project  and community cooperative and make a meaningful difference in the lives of the women, girls and families we serve, by making a donation now.

Want to help on an ongoing basis? Set up a monthly recurring donation as well as sharing this report with your family and friends.

Please Donate Now!

We are grateful for your support. The women, men, girls and children of the My Arms Wide Open communities extend a warm smile and echo our gratitude for your support.

Growing good food
Growing good food
MWIAG Ray-CAM
MWIAG Ray-CAM

Building Gardens

When you first hear about food insecurity in a community, the first thing you think about most often is to build a traditional garden. Then the community brings you back to reality to look around you and understand the true circumstance; they have the land, but not the water to irrigate it with. Back to the drawing board.

In 2010 our idea of building a vertical garden was manifested, when we built our first wall in the eastern cape province of South Africa, using a drip system that required only 10% of what would be required in a normal garden. As the garden grew and flourished we looked for ways to increase production and longevity of the vertical community My World in a Garden gardens. Our next iteration moved from individual containers made from 2 liter pop bottles to building the wall as a huge pocket filled with good clean pesticide free soils. This is our current standard. 

Whose being fed

Our walls in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada and Bergnek, Limpopo, South Africa primarily feed the children in each community. However, there is direct participation from every level within the community including teenagers, parents, and the elderly in particular. Food is grown and harvested for immediate as well as winter use and we're providing fresh vegetables for up to 150 children each week.

Who needs more

Bergnek and other communities need the gardens. As the My World In a Garden vertical community gardens have grow they've attracted attention from other communities. We still need an additional 6 walls in Bergnek alone and have outstanding requests from 5 other communities so far. 

A New Season

The 2015/2016 seasons are well underway in Canada and will begin again in September in South Africa.

Your Contributions and Donations DO make the Difference

You can support the My Arms Wide Open, My World In a Garden project and make a meaningful difference in the lives of the girls, women and children that we serve, by making a donation now or setting up a monthly recurring donation as well as sharing this report with your family and friends.

Please Donate Now!

We are grateful for your support. The women, girls and children of the My Arms Wide Open communities extend a warm smile and echo our gratitude and thanks.

MWIAG Bergnek
MWIAG Bergnek

Links:

Spring planting in Bergnek
Spring planting in Bergnek

For many it is NOT a choice, they are born into their circumstances

As we work with partners and in communities, we often get asked why people in the communities we serve can't just get a job or do something useful with their time. For many of us we realte to problems and issues others and the media raise in the context of our own life experience and circumstance. The problems that are raised about developing countries and their urban and rural communities, seem so simple depending on your own experieinces and yet in reality they are actually quite complex. These problems and circumstances, such as poverty, didn't suddenly happen, they have existed for decades and in some cases for generations or centuries, and so people are born into these circumstances and finding a way out is impossible for most.

Walk a mile in my shoes...

When we ask people in these communities what's the first thing we can do to help, they typically answer, that they'd like to be accepted for who they are and where they are. When we ask what else we can do, their responses are generally, don't try to help me by doing it for me, teach me how to help myself.

Equipped with this knowledge and understanding, we run all of our My World In a Garden projects in a manner where we bring resources and skilled professionals in to communities focusing on the transfer of skills so that the people in these communities can then assist others and help themselves out of their circumstance. They don't choose to be in the situations and circumstances they find themselves in, they are quite literally born into it.  

When asked why we do it we consider our options. We have the option to choose to help and transfer skills or ignore it completely and address only immediate needs. We willingly and consciously choose to help, for the long term. My Arms Wide Open and the My World In a Garden cause are 100% volunteer based and although each of us makes our own choice, we all make the same choice.

When governments do not have the much-needed resources to help their own people as much as they'd like to or in fact need to, then outside help is needed. This is not simply a case of lack of water, it includes generations of sub-standard education, substance and physical abuse, dire poverty, food insecurity, lack of simple resources, like menstrual pads, to help keep girls in school (see our www.GirlStuffPeriod.com project) and health challenges that result from the lack of basic needs and basic human rights. In general these issues are lumped on the backs of women as the men move away to try and earn income and then land up not returning in many cases.

We see this same scenario in many countries around the world, including developed nations where governments do have the resources to make change. However, if the general population isn't willing to engage and pressure their governments to engage, those issues go unresolved as well. We can understand that it is hard to relate to, unless you actually experience it, and we truly would not wish that on any person, which is why we choose as volunteers to go and live in these communities that invite us in to help, so that we can better understand the issues they truly have and work with them to create solutions for themselves.

Transferring Skills

By understanding the contect and culture of the people where they are, and as we go into different communities we must account for the differences and adapt to what and how we support the people in those communities and what they grow in the food walls. When we teach this, not simply do it, the community s able to then share the technology with other communities and set those communities up for success.

Duplicating the Process

So why are we telling you this? It is critical for us to have the resources available to continually update our curriculums and programs so that we can achieve our ultimate goal where the program takes on a life of its own and the vegetable food walls start to pop up in communities everywhere. To do this we need to keep building and spreading the word for now and that's where we need your help.

Your contributions make all the difference

There are many ways that you can support our effort to make a meaningful difference in the lives of the girls, women and children that we serve.

Please donate!

  • How about making a new donation today?
  • Or perhaps you’d like to set up a monthly or quarterly recurring donation…it’s simple, convenient and easy to do!

With Gratitude

Whatever you decide, please do it today!  The girls, women and children we serve extend a warm smile and heartfelt ‘thank you’ for your support. We are all grateful for your support.

Constructing My World In a Garden
Constructing My World In a Garden
The Children of Bergnek
The Children of Bergnek

About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating or by subscribing to this project's RSS feed.

Get Reports via Email

We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.

Organization Information

My Arms Wide Open

Location: Vancouver, British Columbia - Canada
Website: http:/​/​myarmswideopen.org
Project Leader:
Warren Te Brugge
Vancouver, British Columbia Canada
$5,990 raised of $55,000 goal
 
86 donations
$49,010 to go
Donate Now Add Project to Favorites

Help raise money for this important cause by creating a personalized fundraising page for this project.

Start a Fundraiser