Food for education


Lack of food means that many of the children we work with go to school hungry, can you help us break down the breakdown the barriers that stand in the way them getting the education that is vital to their future?

After the epic success of our pilot gardening project, helping the women we work with in the slums of Kampala create nutritious gardens to feed the vulnerable children in their care, we now need to roll it out to help more children.

But hold on a minute (I hear you say), I thought awamu was about education for children... why are vegetable gardens so vital? 

The simple fact is, hungry children can't learn.

Sadly, many of the families we work with live on less than 50p a day, most of the children are lucky if they get one meal a day. Typically that meal will be a bowl of maize porridge, which contains little nutritional value.

Lack of food means most of the children we work with go to school hungry, so first and foremost we're trying to break down the barriers that stand in the way of our children getting the education that is vital to their future.

Many of the children Awamu work with were born with HIV they are on ARV medication, which they must take 2-3 times a day. The medication MUST be taken with food or it makes them REALLY sick, causing a lot of pain and potentially long-term damage.

As the kids live in an urban area there is little very little space available for growing food, no good topsoil and a lot of contamination from open drains.

But we have a plan that we know works!

We have already piloted the first phase of gardening project in November 2014. We built 60 raised bed vegetable gardens with mum's like Grace and it's having a huge impact on their health, education and income.

We are so astounded at the impact the gardens have had that we want to roll them out to other families in desperate need and also create a few extra gardens that we can use to help children like Jamila and Butambala (pictured below) in emergency situations.

I took this photo when we went to visit them at their home after hearing that their father had been hospitalised again and they were living alone. Their father has HIV and spends long periods of time in hospital, and with no other relatives to help, the children are left to fend for themselves.

The women we work with are their only safety net in the community, they visit the children regularly to make sure they are well, are going to school - extra gardens would mean that we had food to help children like Jamila and her brother.

In rural Rwanda these gardens are called ‘orphan fields’ in urban Kampala we are calling them the ‘community children’s gardens’ and they will be looked after by the women we work with.

To complete the project we need to raise £7,061 to build 60 gardens, two rain water harvesting points and two community plots to use to feed children in emergencies. That works out at £108.63 per garden or (as there are on average 4 children household that we are targeting) just £27.20 per child.

All the money we raise will buy soil, seeds, tools and training for families and help us build two ‘orphan gardens’ that will help to feed children like Jamila and her brother for many years to come.

How you can help:

1. Give a donation of whatever you can afford to help us build our gardens. Check out the perks you can claim if you make a contribution:

  • £5.56 & over: this covers the cost of a watering can for one family, you claim your sunflower seeds to join our sunflower challenge.
  • £57.29 and over: This covers the cost of training and tree saplings for one family, you can claim a beautiful sunflower cushion cover handmade for you by Sarah Kabenge in Kampala
  • £108.73 and over: this covers the cost of a whole garden for one family and you can claim a set of beautiful sunflower cushion covers handmade for in Kampala, you seeds to enter our sunflower growing competition and you'll get a personal thank you for the family that you've helped.

Don't forget to leave your name and address when making your contribution so we can send you perks.

2. Give a contribution as a gift for a loved one, claim the benefit and we'll send it along witha card explaining how your gift has helped to support vulnerable children in Kampala.

3.Get your friends to join in by making a contribution and claiming their seeds to join our sunflower challenge. Read more here: #awamugrowoff

This is what your donation will help to buy....

  • £5.56 will buy a watering can for one family
  • £9.26 will cover the cost of training one mum
  • £27.20 will cover the cost of a garden for one child
  • £48 will buy 12 tree saplings
  • £108.63 will cover the cost of a garden for one family
  • £278 will cover the cost of materials for building gardens for the whole project
  • £500 will cover the cost of training all 60 families
  • £889 will cover the cost of all the soil we will need to truck in to grow healthy, nutritious food
  • £1,100 will by all the materials and labour needed to build our underground rain water harvesting (vital that we start to use rain water as families in the slums have to buy water from meter points).
  • £1,389 will buy all the the seedfor 60 families

With Love and thanks,

Emma, Steve and Kerry…and everyone at awamu.

PS. Don’t forget to claim your sunflower seeds and join our #awamugrowoff -  our international sunflower growing competition. See more about how to share your sunflower photos and compete for the glory here.

PPS. want to go a step further to change a childs life? Get in touch to find out how to set up a regular gift and support a child through school.

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