We celebrate the great success of the implementation of the vertical sack gardens in Kajulu, Kolwa East and Miwani Area
We thank everybody who made this project possible! We are looking forward to the next round!
How the project came to be
One of Make Me Smile Kenya’s objectives is to strengthen the capacity of households and communities especially in protecting and caring for orphans and vulnerable children (OVC). In an assessment study carried out in 2019 we noticed that in many families, the food supply at the household level was insufficient to assure food security which was leading to malnutrition. Especially children living with HIV are struggling to meet their nutritional needs, which are higher because of their medical condition. Very often the medication for treatment is not effective for those children because of the lack of nutrients.
Who was chosen?
Since the beginning of the project in 2019 we have been able to implement the vertical gardens in 249 households in Kajulu, Miwani and Kolwa East Area. Two more vertical gardens are already supplying our Youth Friendly Center with fresh vegetables. The families were carefully chosen in partnership with a nutritionist of the Ministry Of Health and our social workers after the premise of either the children or the caregivers being HIV positive. Additionally, the households chosen did have less than 50Ksh (+/- 40 Cents) per day to spend on food.
The goal of the gardens
The gardens are designed in a way that they withstand rainy season and need little water in dry season. The plants were chosen to meet exactly the nutritional needs of the children and to regrow quickly.
An expert from the Ministry of Agriculture informed caregivers through a training that well-tended and structured vertical sack gardens do not only complement the vitamin mineral requirements of people living with HIV, but can also provide them with the necessary antioxidants to boost their health and immune systems. Next to this they can provide a source of additional income.
In follow-up visits a general impression of the condition of the gardens was gained and the impact on the beneficiaries was observed. The results were astonishing:
The implemented vertical sack gardens were well managed providing food supply for the families.
Families spent less money on food and were able to safe 50-100Ksh (40-80 Cents) per week. Through this habit of saving they could join our saving and loaning groups.
All of the before malnourished children that were treated additionally with a high nutrient flour-based supplement were in much better health conditions.
Some of the families already expanded their projects to a second gardening sack.