Little things can emerge from shared ideas and the community gardens in Destra, Carrefour-Croix and Bossan are proof of that. Caring for the environment and learning the importance of gardening has always been a priority of GOALS. Yet behind these miniature gardens are inspiring stories that feed us literally and figuratively.
Peppers, eggplant, okra, tomatoes and other vegetables maturing in parcels of land granted by community members, grow in an organized manner. It is a combined effort by kids in our programs and their coaches who manage them. This know-how was taught to them by a local agronomist who works with us. The gardens serve multiple purposes which includes providing a more balanced diet which promotes better health, the possibility to sell produce, and finally to inspire community members to raise in them the entrepreneurial spirit.
One of our coaches, Jersen, got so inspired by the kids’ garden that he took it upon himself to plant his own. At a recent visit to his home, he declared: "My sister drew my attention on the fact that the price of peppers is constantly increasing and thanks to the knowledge I acquired through the community garden program I know that I can work with the soil fertile to plant and keep it fertile .” Jersen visits his garden daily, taking great care of it, watering it with water from a well located near the space. "This garden idea has inspired me and today I am conducting other activities to fulfill a dream of becoming an entrepreneur that others can follow.”
He explained the innovative methods he will continue to use through the use of compost and the insertion of water containers (ti gallon in Haitian Creole) in the ground to fertilize a part which he judges is too exposed to the sun and makes it difficult to germinate part of the seedlings. This promising garden is the result of an investment of an estimated $50 USD. He is encouraged by the progress made and that in a short time his business will grow. He hopes that this initiative will inspire other coaches to undertake similar activities to create a source of food and possible revenue.
We recently had a visitor to our sites and Daniel Fleury, a Haitian-American, himself, was amazed and fell in love with one of our gardens discovered at Carrefour-Croix. After talking with the kids and the coaches, giving them advice based on his coaching experience in Boston, he toured our programs. "It was great to see with my own eyes what I observed in your site. It's amazing what you're doing.” He handed over a bundle of seedlings to our Program Manager to encourage them. A big thank you to Daniel for his visit and generosity.
We love seeing the gardens grow and see them inspire the communities we serve.