One of the ways to improve conditions in Haiti is to educate future leaders of Haiti to increase food production. With the dependency on imports for the majority of their food supply, food is most often too expensive for impoverished families. Teaching adults and children to establish backyard gardens and fruit-bearing trees breaks the cycles of debilitating hunger, malnutrition, and poverty within their community.
Ongoing Commununity Gardening /Nutrition Education
Fifteen families participate in THEA’s Gardening/Nutrition class two days per week for 24 months. The students learn about nutrition, composting, seed saving, use of natural pesticides, etc., and create their own backyard gardens.
The first class of gardening/nutrition students graduated in February 2013. These graduates all have gardens of their own. 3 students have gone on to more formal university training to become an agronomist. The second class graduated in February 2015. The next class of 10 students of young men and women will graduate in February 2017. Many of these students already have planted their own gardens. They are also learning how to raise chickens for meat and eggs.
Leaders of Gardening Training Programs in US schools participated in a research study. They found improvements in these characteristics:
96% environmental attitudes
92% community spirit
89% self confidence
87% social skills
85% leadership skills
82% attitude toward school
77% nutritional attitudes
65% motor skills
63% scholastic achievement
As a requirement for graduation from THEA’s Backyard Gardening Training Program, the students must plant a garden for their family and friends and are then then further encouraged to teach others what they have learned. Once the students complete the program, they will each receive a certificate.
Initially, none of the produce grown in their gardens are to be sold, but are to be shared with their family, friends, and those in need. Once the community is cared for with decreased levels of hunger and malnutrition, THEA continues education opportunities in business practices for the purpose of selling surplus produce to improve economic development in the community.
Development of the first school garden began in August 2016. There are 14 schools in and around Lavictoire. It is THEA’s goal to begin school gardens at as many of these schools as possible. Join us to make this dream a reality for Lavictoire and beyond!
What you can do…
- Further develop school garden curriculum for various age students.
- Make a one-time or monthly contribution toward school gardens.
- Join us on a trip to Haiti for hands-on teaching with the students and teachers.
THEA’s Gardening/Nutrition Seminars provide an opportunity for 10 families to learn about nutrition and basic information for how to begin and maintain a backyard garden. The participants who earn the best grades on their post-class test receive a tool and starter seeds.
THEA-sponsored agronomy graduates teach 4-5 day community seminars in rural areas in backyard gardening/nutrition as well as in nutrition and animal husbandry. THEA’s goal is to do one of these seminars for 10 families each month.