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Our Projects

Gardens of Hope

2011 SEEDS AND GARDENS OF HOPE UPDATE
2013 SEEDS AND GARDENS OF HOPE UPDATE

It was eight months ago that my dear childhood friend, Linda Greenberg told me about her trip to Uganda. Linda, a primate conservationist was thrilled to see the Silverback gorillas first hand. It was a dream come true. Linda also told me of the utter poverty and starving children she saw along the way. With such an immense feeling of deep compassion for the children, she knew at that very moment that helping diminish hunger was number one. After asking me to join her mission of kindness, “Gardens of Hope” was established.

“Gardens of Hope’s” purpose is to grow vegetables and flowers in various school gardens, providing food for the children’s lunches. This is our main goal and secondly, selling the excess veggies and flowers to develop a cottage industry for income. The children will be taught sustainable agriculture, nutritional value of the vegetables; empowering them with life skills for a better quality of life. They in turn will teach their skills and knowledge to others in the community, helping to eradicate poverty and ultimately stop the encroachment of primates.

“Hope Garden” is our first school garden in Burimba. This village by Lake Bunyonyi, is located in the Kabale District, situated in the southwestern region of Uganda. The area is densely populated with over 70% of the inhabitants being the youth. The Burimba Primary School doesn’t have water or electricity and could use a harvest tank to collect water. This school has 450 children who are one or two parent orphans, many with AIDS. Over 40% of the youth have dropped out of school before primary seventh grade with not enough education to survive poverty.

Digging has started on the 98 square foot “Hope Garden” and has to be fenced in, as all of our gardens, to protect them from the wild animals. A water source is not close so that presents other problems; a water pump would be a great help. Some items are best bought in Uganda, while others can be donated and shipped. We need lots of vegetable seeds such as, green peppers, green cabbage, spinach, lettuce, herbs, water mellon, egg plant, leeks, broccoli, tomatoes, carrots, bush green beans, onions and different flower seeds for all of the gardens. The indigenous and leafy vegetables, Irish and sweet potatoes will be purchased there.

“Happy Grow” is our second school garden in Buhoma. The school is a 6-hour drive from Kabale, near Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in the southwestern region of Uganda. The primary school has about 500 children all without enough to eat. They have no electricity but are fortunate to have one waterspout, unfiltered. Their garden is one-acre, near a water source so the vegetables and flowers should have a good chance of growing. A water pump for this garden would make it a lot easy on the children. Digging on this garden started in May 2008 and veggies are growing. The ground-breaking ceremony was in July and everyone is so excited.

In the planning process, is the “Sunshine Garden” our third school garden located at Butogota Trinity College (similar to high school) in Kanungu District, 70 miles from Kabale. This school has 400 children, water and electricity, although they need a new harvest tank to the collect water. Since the nearest water source in over one mile away, there will be some water challenges for this garden.

Our forth garden is in the making at a fishing island village near Jane Goodalls Ngamba Island. The folks at Ngamba Island built a school for the village and the surrounding 11 islands although it is still very poor. The village name is Koome Island, Myende Landing. Because of no medical facilities, when the villagers become very sick, they simply die. Through our “Gardens of Hope” we hope to improve their health and once again create a cottage industry. Like some of the other schools there is no filtered water and electricity.

These are true community projects. The parents and community have come together to clear and dig the land.

Our future hopes are to add on to the gardens, install fruit trees, build garden sheds or separate facilities for teaching and to store tools.

Please help us make our “Gardens of Hope’ grow. Organizations such as garden clubs, plant and flower societies, schools, scout troops, sport teams, and individuals can make this their project. We need many hands and hearts to alleviate hunger. Email me so the children will no longer suffer and the primates will no longer be encroached upon.
If you would like to help with monetary donations, seeds, tools, garden supplies, or to start a project, please contact me at jocwalker@centurytel.net.

USA Garden Project Director and Coordinator,
Joey Walker