During CTT Team 6’s visit to St. Mary Kevin, everyone took a break from projects one pleasant afternoon to celebrate the dedication of ‘Tom and Randy’s Garden’, a 69’ x 144’ plot of land that is nearing its first harvest of maize and cabbage.
The launch of this new project (which was made possible by a generous anonymous donor) has been highly anticipated and now a cause for grand celebration. Guests were escorted in a procession to the flourishing garden by the marching band, which belted out jubilant tunes. Even some local villagers joined the group. Once assembled within the secured walls of the garden space, several orphans representing the various ages of post-Secondary, secondary and primary level (Nelson, Nicky, Tina, and Kaifa) eloquently conveyed their appreciation for the fine vegetables that will soon begin to enrich their daily diets. In addition, the full-time gardener and Joan Faith shared their thanksgiving for this project.
Food in Uganda is always a struggle. Even though the country is blessed with a favorable climate and incredibly fertile soil, most people living in Uganda still go hungry. They go hungry because of prices, which only continue to increase. When prices get too high, families must make the tough choice between eating lunch or supper, because they simply cannot afford both. Also, people in Uganda go hungry due to poorly balanced diets. Often the cheapest foods here in Uganda, even if grown locally, are not necessarily those high in vitamins. Eating the same low nutrition foods too much or too often can lead to certain health challenges.
St. Mary Kevin Orphanage is no stranger to these challenges. SMK is committed to providing three meals a day to the children, but with a budget of $.75 per day per child, it is a struggle to serve balanced meals. The staple food product at every school in Uganda is maize flour. It is made into liquid porridge for breakfast and firm posho with a side of beans for lunch and supper. While there may be a variation of a meal (or two) during the week, children eat that same menu daily.
With the introduction of ‘Tom and Randy’s Garden', more vegetable and fruits will be added to the children’s daily diet. With a crop of more than 100 ears of maize almost ready for harvest, orphans will enjoy ears of roasted corn with several evening meals. With more than 60 heads of cabbage growing large and firm, their bean mixture will consistently contain bits of the vegetable for an additional boost of vitamins.
The additional great news is that CTT Team 6 came bearing seeds from Sutherland (in Atlanta, GA) ready to be planted in the garden. In the months to come, the children will enjoy carrots, watermelon, various types of greens, squash, cauliflower, green pepper, turnips, and much more.
Great thanks to Change The Truth for establishing and funding ‘Tom and Randy’s Garden’. And an even greater thanks to Randy and Tom, who began a small garden project at St. Mary Kevin during CTT Team 3’s visit in 2009. The two men had a strong desire to enhance the nutrition of the orphans. This new garden will do just that – and will continue to benefit the children in a healthy way over and over again for many years to come."
Post written by Melissa
Photos courtesy of Suzanne