A community garden participant holds seeds for planting. Photo: ACF-Burkina Faso, V. Vancura.
Editor’s note: In the West African nation of Burkina Faso, many families struggle to make ends meet in the face of a weak economy, the aftermath of the food crisis in the Sahel region, frequent cholera outbreaks, and an influx of refugees from neighboring Mali. To address the underlying causes of malnutrition in the rural village of Birminga, Action Against Hunger helped local women establish a vegetable garden. Ouoaba Pouguidiba (pictured below), the President of the community garden initiative, shares her experience with the project in her own words. (All photos courtesy Votja Vancura.)
Before this garden project started, I only had beans to eat. Then, in 2012, Action Against Hunger came to our village and explained the importance of having a garden, and how we would be taught to grow vegetables. All the women here wanted to do it.
We learned how to build the vegetable garden: how to create rows for all the vegetables, sow seeds, and nourish the seeds. We also only use natural products to fertilize our crops, not chemical. My job as the President is to ensure that all the planting happens as it should.
We now harvest onions, tomatoes, peppers, cabbages, eggplants, beans, cucumbers, carrots and lettuce, and more! We were also provided with a cooking demonstration to show us how to use the vegetables in some new recipes.
All the women working in the garden get along very well. We have made new friends while working together here.
The most important thing is that our children are much happier now. They are stronger, they smile more, they get over illnesses faster, and they grow faster.
Malnutrition is gone from our community thanks to Action Against Hunger.