Clearing space for a garden at the dar taliba
We are happy to report that this update comes from our Peace Corps partners in Morocco. Peace Corps Morocco volunteers serve in remote, mostly rural areas, focusing on empowering youth and local communities. Seeds are used to teach students about agriculture and environmental issues, assist in starting local garden projects, and encourage the community to grow some of their own food. Seed distribution and planting is a multifaceted activity. In fact, most volunteers used the seed program as an opportunity to teach about the environment, botany, agriculture, and keep people linked to their land with an understanding of botanical life.
A large portion of this activity occurs in youth centers and boarding schools. Making these establishments not only a place of learning for the children, but also a hub for the local community. One Peace Corps Volunteer shares a story on this topic:
“My garden project took place at the dar taliba (girls boarding school) in my community, a dormitory for girls from the surrounding rural communities who study at my site's middle and high schools during the week. The building has a large outdoor courtyard area, most of which was largely untended — and provided a great space for a garden! A group of girls from the dar taliba worked with me between their classes on each step of the garden, from pulling weeds and removing rocks to breaking up the soil to planting. It quickly became a project for the whole dar taliba community; the women who run the building and the cooks often joined us as well. The cooks hope to use the vegetables from the garden in the meals they prepare for the girls during the week.
Because the girls at the dar taliba come from smaller, rural communities, many of their families have gardens at home. They were both excited to plant vegetables they grow at home and curious to learn about varieties they had never seen before. Our time in the garden so far has also provided a wonderful opportunity for conversation and cultural exchange, as we've discussed everything from Ramadan to gardening in the United States while breaking up the soil and planting seeds. I'm really grateful we had access to these seeds.”
- Abby Senuty, Peace Corps Morocco Volunteer
Environmental awareness and stewardship plays a large part in Peace Corps Morocco’s message. This past Earth Day, many of the schools and youth centers focused on planting.
“During Earth Day, there were presentations on the environment and then after the kids made bird feeders and these little planter bottles where we gave the kids seeds for their planters! We still have some seeds left over and are planning to do similar planters at our preschool.”
- Maggie Blackburn, Peace Corps Morocco Volunteer
“I have used some of the seeds sent to me for an activity during Earth Day. Because there is no open space for a garden at the local Dar Chebab, we chose to plant the seeds in cardboard boxes to practice reusing and recycling local materials. The students will take turns watering the plants, and we eventually hope to find a spot to transplant them in the future.”
- Ilana Shapiro, Peace Corps Morocco Volunteer
We hope to have more reports to share from Peace Corps Morocco as they continue growing inspiration and wonder in children with just a little seed and knowledge. It is through support like yours that SPI can continue partnerships like these all over the globe. Thank you for your trust and support of SPI and our partners.
The SPI Team
Planting at the dar taliba
Planting Earth Day seedlings
Starting garden seedlings in Tighomar, Morocco
Ready to grow!