Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Owning Their Own Development

Raheli Mkusi (back center) led the children of Igoda Children's Village
in harvesting the maize during a short school holiday this week.

This week, primary school students had a brief holiday from school, and most children spent the week helping their families work their farms. The same was true for children living at Igoda Children's Village, as the guardians here have tried very hard over the years to give the children the opportunity to live the same life as their friends in the surrounding villages.

Even nursery students helped with the harvest.
The maize collected will be used for the nutritious snack
they receive each day at school at the Children's Village
It is estimated that over $1,000 worth of Maize was harvested this week, and the children helped every step of the way. From collecting the maize from the stocks, to removing kernels from the cobs, to sacking all of the maize, the children played an integral part in the collection of the production of their own food. This is the same household work that children in the villages do for their own families during school break, so we are happy that this development worked out for all involved. The maize will be used to feed the children at Igoda Children's Village, and will help feed the children of the nursery school during the day.

Raheli Mkusi led the harvesting project this week, and she is yet another one of our shining members of the NGO. Raheli came to the NGO in 2011 when her husband had left her and her family with a huge unpaid loan taken from a nearby lending agency. Raheli asked for work, and had experience working in vegetable gardens, so she was given the position of head gardener as the responsibilities of the house guardians had become too overwhelming to expect them to also keep up with a garden that had been growing slowly over the years.

In 18 months the garden not only had phenomenal yields of vegetables that fed the Children's Village and was sold to the nearby village, but it had also expanded to 5 acres of vegetables and a 2 acre strawberry patch!

Children preparing the maize for storage. Well over 3000kg
was harvested this year!

Raheli is an extremely hard worker, and she leads by example. She is invested in the positive development of her community, and sees the children as the future leaders of this community. We are proud to be working with people like Raheli who help make the organization the success that it is!

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