Supporting South Africa and Vancouver with food wall gardens
Posted: Jan 24th, 2012
During the fall and winter, the garden’s bottles not being used for vegetables and fruits will be replaced with suitable plants to maintain the wall during the off-season and allow for preparation of new vegetable seedlings for the spring. In addition to the fruit plants grown in the bottles, we intend to plant several fruit trees around the wall to support the surrounding community’s need for fresh fruit.
The fundamental emphasis, however, is on the educational opportunities that the garden and its supporting activities offer for the children and youth of both the Vancouver Downtown Eastside and Cradock, Eastern Cape, South Africa.
The project will create collaboration and a sense of ownership across the community – ownership by the children who will work in the garden; their families, as a result of their own children’s involvement; and other families in the community who will benefit from the garden’s harvests. The intention is for this project to inspire other children and youth within the community to take similar steps and spawn additional Vertical Food Wall Systems across the community. For more information on this project please visit the My Arms Wide Open site and read the blog postings.
Education Equity: creating a level playing field for girls in Africa
In struggling and disadvantaged communities across the globe, youth face a number of significant challenges. Simply being able to find gainful employment is but one of those as they struggle to differentiate themselves to find and land jobs. The young girls and women in these communities face a number of additional challenges that put them at an even greater disadvantage.
The first, in a number of cases, is ridicule and bullying as a result of having their period start at an inopportune moment while at school and they are unprepared. This can and has resulted in girls not returning to school after the experience, an experience that should be about celebrating the fact that they are becoming young women, not feeling embarrassed and having their self-esteem severely damaged. They are not just caught off guard; their circumstance is such that they just cannot afford basic menstrual products to support themselves. In a significant number of cases their families can't even afford to provide more than one meal a day and for some a meal only every two days. The result of this is that these young girls and women then end up staying home for the duration of their period, missing a significant amount of school. They underachieve and cannot perform to the real level of their abilities because they just can't be in school for a week each month.