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Gardens as a Lifeline

I have a lovely little garden that keeps me sane. I try to spend at least 20 minutes there every day. This time of year my garden is full of flowers and vegetables. I have a little problem with my tomatoes at the moment, seems like there might be too much nitrogen in the soil so the plants look great but are not producing a lot of fruit. To find a solution for the problem,  I went to our local Home Improvement Center and picked up some organic flower fertilizer — and Voila! flowers are starting to come.

The gardens the women keep in Uganda are a far cry from my reality. Their gardens are a lifeline, an important source of food and income, and they don’t have a Home Improvement Center around the corner to solve their problems.  When their tomatoes don’t flower, they go hungry and have no money for school fees.  This is why our Perma-garden and Feld Crop programs are so important.

Our instructors teach simple methods on how to increase plant fertility and productivity, using local resources such as the Neem Tree to make pesticides or compost and cover crops that add nutrients. Women receive support throughout the year, and they have community mobilizers visiting them twice a month to help identify and solve problems.

It is inspiring to talk with women who have been part of these programs for a few years because they are now in a completely different situation. They have enough food and money, and they are able to make decisions in their lives that don’t come from a position of desperation.

I am proud to say that our Agricultural Program has received a lot of good attention both from the communities where we work and from other organizations, looking to duplicate what we are doing.

Thank you for supporting our work.

Happy gardening!

Linda and theAfrican Women Rising Team

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