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Gardens of Hope - 2013

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Recently, the Seeds of Hope project won the National World Gardening Award. The Avon-on-the-Lake Garden Club was the overall winner of 6,218 clubs.

Both pictures to the right are of the primary students from Buhoma Community Primary School in Bwindi, Uganda. In the first picture, the students are harvesting the cabbage from the "Happy Grow" school garden and in the second, others are preparing salad for their school lunch. The starter cabbage plants were purchased with a donation sent from Avon-on-the-Lake Garden Club. Many of the students at this school are one or two parents orphans.

Our "Seeds of Hope" project has changed a little in 2013. At this time, because of government regulations and environmental issues, we are no longer collecting seed packs, instead we are sending a monetary donation to the schools to purchase starter plants, such as pole beans, eye potatoes and cabbage, for the "Gardens of Hope" school gardens in Uganda.

Our members would like to thank the community for their support of the "Seeds of Hope" project. Through the collection point at the Avon Lake Library, we have sent over 2200 packs of seeds, feeding over 1600 children school lunches. And for many, the only food they have all day.

The following is an excerpt from an email I received from James Tweheyo, Headteacher, Buhoma Community Primary School:

"Thank you for the seeds you sent through James. The garden is doing very well only that it rained very heavily that most of the crops were spoiled by the thunder storm. Our Hope Garden was so affected that we are picking the vegetables from the soil but since it is a rainy season, the corps will soon recover. The parents helped by opening up an extension of the garden where we are to sow the seeds you sent. The spraying pump links and needs replacement. We hope that whenever you send us any help and reaches the school in time, we shall produce more and more for the good of the school and the community. Lastly I thank you for the continued support and promise that we shall not discourage you and our partners through you.
Regards, Tweheyo James, Headteacher."

Bwindi is located in southwestern Uganda; they have two drought and two rainy seasons a year.

Our members are so excited about the National World Gardening Award, and hope others might follow our lead. Our goal was to reach our community and beyond. I'lI have to let our Ugandan contact, Rotarian James Ndomirwe, he's our Ugandan Angel, know about the award. He'll spread the word and maybe even make the papers in Uganda.

If any of the community wants to be involved in the monetary donation, we welcome their contribution.

Thanks for your interest.

So excited,
Jo'C Walker, Seeds of Hope Project Chairman,
Avon-on-the-Lake Garden Club
also,
4Uganda.org, USA Garden Project Director and Coordinator