Gardens for Health International representatives recently came to speak at my garden club. Unfortunately, Gardens for Health are not on the Garden Club speakers circuit, so my club was lucky.
Gardens For Health International http://gardensforhealth.org/ is an organization which is working to provide a longterm solution to the problem of childhood malnutrition. Founded in 2007 by three American college women, GFH aims to provide targeted agricultural support and health education to the caregivers of children with malnutrition. The center of their work is a 5 acre farm outside Kigali, the capital of Rwanda. On the farm there is a nursery, vegetable gardens, and a training center.
I was shocked to learn that education is a large part of Gardens for Health’s mission because there is a whole generation of mothers and grandmothers who were murdered during the Rwandan genocide in 1994. This lost generation was not there to teach a younger generation traditional Rwandan cooking, so many skills were lost. Gardens for Health is educating young Rwandans about, among other things, traditional, local, easily available vegetables to replace the largely corn-based diet that has taken over in Rwanda.
I am a believer in the healing principles of gardens. Gardens for Health have taken this belief to the grass roots level and is teaching a new generation the physical health benefits of good nutrition, which starts with healthy food from healthy gardens, as well as the community and spiritual benefits of gardens. I give them my support and wish them the best of luck.