COMMUNITY STRENGTH

Kitchen Garden

During our last Salt visit to Agai Community we were impressed by the strengths the community has. In most cases when we go out for such visits we assume the community will ask for handouts from us. This is not the case in that community.

From one of our community conversations 1 support group of PLWA’s had a story to share with us and others across the country and the world. The story of the Kitchen Garden. The group has introduced Kitchen Gardens for their members. Through small contributions they buy vegetables, tomatoes, and onions seeds which each member is given to plant. They plough the small gardens for members in turns. The vegetables are sold at Sondu market in exchange of sugar, or unga. They also use vegetables to feed their families. Anybody who goes to borrow for vegetables from her neighbour is given for the first time. The next day the Kitchen Garden is transferred to her home (that the most interesting part). “when you keep depending on people to give you; you become lazy and will live/die in poverty” a woman was heard saying.

According to Luo culture when a man dies the widow must be inherited with a member of the family. But with increase of HIV/AIDs the widows are forming support groups for advocacy against wife inheritance. The group started with 10 members in Sondu community and has increased to 30 and is transferring to other neighbouring communities very fast. During their meetings they receive friends from other communities who come to learn and transfer. The women are staying within the community, in their homes. One of the lessons learnt is that “you don’t have to remarry for life to continue; there are other better ways of earning a living hence our being together”. Says the leader of the group.

Apart from Kitchen Garden, the group meets once week to share challenges as widows and what motivate them to stay together. They learn how to become responsible and take care of their children and say NO to wife inheritance.

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Comment by Dr. SANJAY SINGH KATHAIT on March 12, 2009 at 4:09pm
AH! The tenacity in the community is so visible. They should be encouraged to do community participatory kitchen gardening, thereby giving it 'strength' and becoming a forum for socialising, discussions, exchanging views & reducing the stigma attached. It could be the beginning of CARE! Dr. Sanjay Singh Kathait.
Comment by ODUKHULA on March 10, 2009 at 7:57pm
Such a spirit is so encouraging.
They should be supported to expand the business and even to form cooperatives to help market their product in schools,offices,hospitals etc.
Somebody should be doing them a social venture project proposal to help them scale up their productivity.

Odukhula.
Comment by Abraham Mutluri on March 7, 2009 at 10:25am
Dear Lio Kiruchi

Good Morning

I am very happy with Lio Kiruchi blog because it is most useful tool. Kitchen gardening is a two way approach 1) provides Nutritious food for PLHA 2) Income generation activity (IGA). In Andhra Pradesh, 6-7 months (June to February) are suitable months for Kitchen Gardens. If water facility is there it is a continuation programme for a year. No need technical skills and the village folk are already equipped with the farming and allied activities. It requires small open place at the backyard of their houses. Cultivation of these kitchen gardens doesn’t much time consuming and less stress and easy to work.












Outcome:
PLHA are taking the green food and earning money also. Other PLHA team members are also supporting each other. They are leading their families with their own hands.

Challenges:
Due to high levels of stigma, initially they did not get any type of support from the neighbors. Selling is also one of the challenges in the same community

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