In September 2020, one of our longstanding partners, the Kinderfonds MAMAS, availed crucial emergency funding for sustainable food security. As partners in service delivery to the vulnerable, we realised that food parcels are not sustainable and it creates dependence and a culture of entitlement in our communities. On the other hand, home gardens provide long term sustainable food security and also contributes to empowering families.
After taking on the challenge of establishing food gardens with no existing gardens and no former experience, we were surprised at the possibilities and opportunities food gardens can provide. Although we have experienced many challenges (lack of land/space, lack of interest from beneficiaries, damages due to heat/pets/pests, lack of guidance) we were very surprised with especially the establishment of the centre based gardens – even on small pieces of land! It took a while for these gardens to really show promise, but they are now an integral part of the the feeding schemes at each of the participating special care centres. With the more established centre based gardens we are now in the favourable position to include gardening activities in our daily stimulation programme to encourage the children with disabilities to partake and learn in the process.