World Vision International
article • Wednesday, July 15th 2015

Teaching children how to garden

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School garden in Sabor Community, Baringo, Kenya

Sabor community is located in the sparsely populated and mountainous Marigat Sub-County in Baringo, where 167 students between the ages of 6 and 13 attend Kimoigut Primary School. Half of them are boys, and the other half girls, taught and cared for by 9 dedicated teachers.

Based on consultations with the community, WV Kenya, in partnership with the GoK and WFP, supported a FFA project in this school during 2010-2011. Participants selected from food insecure households within the community were provided with food assistance for their work of planting trees, maintaining fences to keep the animals out, and constructing water tanks, stone beds and nurseries for the garden. Years have passed since the project, but 64 mango trees, 750 papaya (a.k.a. pawpaw) trees and 10 orange trees still stand tall, producing delicious, nutritious fruits today.

Photo: Papaya trees standing tall in the school garden

“We also added sorghum and peas,” says Japeth Kimuge, the head teacher for the school.“Since the garden started, the attendance has increased from 118 to 167.”

These fruits are mostly consumed at the school by the school children, providing them with additional nutrition which complements the basic, cereal-based meals the government provides through their school feeding initiative. When they have a surplus of fruits, the school sells them to nearby communities, providing the community members with an additional food source to supplement their otherwise simple diet and improving the school’s income. Upon seeing the success of the school garden, neighbours learned from those who worked on the project and replicated fruit gardens in areas near the school and in their homesteads. Fruit trees have become a common sight in the community.

“We get vitamins from paw paws which protect our bodies from diseases!” - Evans Kipchumba, 13 years old

Having a fruit garden at school allows children to have fruits rich in vitamins so they grow well and learn better at school. It also provides an opportunity to teach them about hands-on gardening and producing food. As the community built the school garden through the FFW project, they also included nurseries to start a little gardening school for the little gardeners. The students learn to plant, grow and take care of fruit trees. Many of them take this knowledge home and start their own home garden, sharing the fruits of their knowledge with their familie.

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