With about 58% of Namibians experiencing moderate or severe food insecurity, as indicated by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation Report, organisations like Christ Hope Namibia are exploring alternative ways to ensure orphaned and vulnerable children impacted by AIDS and poverty at their centers, do not go hungry. The Capricorn Foundation, last week, announced its support of N$300 000 toward the commencement of Christ Hope’s mass food gardening project to ensure that the children and families supported by the organisation at three of the ten care points have access to healthy, nutrient-dense, and low-cost fruits and vegetables.
The three vegetable gardens will be in Oshikuku, Keetmanshoop, and Okahanja, with the pilot garden commencing in Okahanja at Christ Hope’s country office occupying an area of 80 by 20 metres. The Okahanja community garden will be supported by the Christ Hope team and centre staff, and the children at the centre will be honoured to maintain it with the staff. Furthermore, ten families with no income have been identified to join the pilot project to acquire the training and tools. The organisation will support them in commencing their home gardens.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry has also come on board to provide discounted water that will be trucked in and used through irrigation pipelines.
“With poverty and the rise of food prices, we had to look at alternative sustainable solutions. With the seed funding from the Capricorn Foundation, we can ensure that we still provide good food to those we support despite the uncertain times.” Hannelie Turner, Christ’s Hope International Namibia’s Country Team Leader.
The three gardens will benefit 637 children and 380 families in Oshikuku, Keetmanshoop and Okahandja. The first garden in Okahandja is set to produce fresh fruits and vegetables in November this year.
“Vegetable gardening is an important method of securing a sustainable supply of nutritious food for a majority of vulnerable communities. As Connectors of Positive Change, we are happy to support Christ Hope to create these gardens and ensure a lasting and sustainable impact on their surrounding communities. We look forward to seeing how the three community gardens will catalyse positive change in their respective environments, and we are excited for the first harvest in November.” Capricorn Foundation’s Executive Officer, Marlize Horn.
Christ’s Hope International Namibia has a 17-year track record of caring for orphaned and vulnerable children. It provides sustainable support at ten care points located in Keetmanshoop, Rehoboth, Okahandja and Oshikuku to free children from the cycle of AIDS and poverty.