Connecting kids to where their food comes from hosts a myriad of benefits–cultivating a sense of place, curiosity and discovery, getting them engaged with the outdoors, and promoting health eating habits. This is even more impactful and important for kids who do not have access to adequate nutrition, or even three meals a day.
With the Sustainable Community Initiative for Empowerment (SCINE), we are supporting school gardens in slum communities in Kampala, the capital of Uganda. Students living in urban slum communities in Kampala struggle with food insecurity and malnutrition, which can negatively impact health and academic performance. This has been compounded by two years of COVID-19 lockdowns, which caused a drastic increase in unemployment and severe food insecurity throughout urban areas in Uganda, and much of the world. Students have finally returned to school after a COVID-19 lockdown that closed all Ugandan schools for almost 2 years. Building a school garden will add nutritious fresh vegetables to their diets to improve the students’ nutrition and enable academic success.
Your support is helping us build climate smart school gardens throughout Kampala slum communities. We just started a school garden program at Golden Times Primary School. There are approximately 326 students at this school, with 10 teachers. Most of the students at Golden Times Primary struggle with food insecurity and lack of nutrition. The majority of their parents do not have a formal source of employment to provide steady income that would allow them to prioritize a healthy meal plan relevant for child growth. Through this program, we are supporting the establishment of the school agricultural club, and setting up a community garden, including the purchase of garden supplies, such as seeds, fencing materials, vertical planters, organic manure, watering cans, and hand sprayers. The food produced from the school garden will provide robust school lunches with important nutrition for the students.
School gardens are outdoor classrooms and serve as living laboratories for any subject. Lots of activities can be taught in the garden, and you don’t necessarily need fancy tools to carry out lessons! You don’t need to be an avid seasoned gardener to use rulers to measure things, record changes. School gardens provide hands-on learning activities. Children can get their hands dirty with digging, tilling, planting, and harvesting. Schools can prepare and cook their produce from the garden to come full circle with the process.
Your support makes this work possible. We would like to expand significantly to more schools throughout Kampala’s urban center. With your help, we can do just that.