Written by World Vision Zimbabwe; Edited by Kaija Hutteri and Katie Hackett
Three years ago, a community came together to plant a vegetable garden. A total of 36 families prepared the land, clearing the ground and erecting a fence around the perimeter to protect their crops from wildlife.
The community garden represented the hope of a better life for these families: healthier children and more income to meet their daily needs. The group included eight widows, two people with disabilities and nine orphaned children who were all struggling to make ends meet. In total, 170 people would benefit.
Despite their hard work, this determined group of families faced setbacks. The borehole they used for watering their vegetables broke down frequently. Their crops suffered during these dry spells. At first, they would pay for the borehole to be repaired. However, this became more difficult as costs continued to mount.
With the generous contributions of Canadian sponsors, we were able to drill a new, deeper borehole for the community. This borehole impacts not only children who have sponsors, but their families and their entire village.
Sanele gathering vegetables from the community garden with her grandchildren. Photo: World Vision
“Our new borehole is 50 metres deep,” says Sanele, a grandmother who is involved with the garden. “This was a wonder to us, as we were used to wells only 10 to 15 metres deep. We rejoiced and felt like it was a dream.”
For their garden, community partners also provided solar equipment and a water tank. The industrious group then pooled their money to purchase cement to build a stand for the new tank.
“Working in our garden is now easy, as watering is solar powered,” says Sanele. “We grow a number of vegetables, including leafy greens, tomatoes and onions. We hope to diversify our crops and grow other vegetables that are not common in our community, like beets, peppers and cucumbers.”
Growing vegetables in the community garden has not only improved the health of many children in the village, but impacted their education as well. Boys and girls used to be sent home from school because they didn’t have the supplies they needed. Many parents could not afford to purchase essentials like pens and notebooks. The garden helps mothers and fathers earn more income to meet the needs of their family.
With hard work, determination and the support of Canadian sponsors, more girls and boys in Nkayi are growing up happy, healthy and educated.