Leave it to CRUDEM’s amazing Sister Ann to find another way to encourage preventative healthcare and a bit of economic sustainability in Milot. Her newest project: teaching children to grow vegetables.
Her first class included twelve children between the ages of four and twelve years old. All of these precious youngsters have lost both parents either to cholera or some other disease. Each day they would visit the hospital compound for a little attention and food. Ever sensitive to the needs of children, Sister Ann wondered how she could help them cope with their tragic situations. She came up with the idea of teaching them to grow their own food; not only an excellent source of bonding and skills development, but also a way to address the effects of malnutrition suffered by so many children in the area.
Each child has their own small plot of land to grow their own vegetables and a local unemployed man is only too delighted to help them as they tend their gardens. Every morning at 7 a.m., the children burst with energy and excitement as they arrive to begin work on their vegetable plots. Sister Ann and others in the hospital compound sprout smiles of joy as they watch the dedicated youngsters so very happy for once in their lives, as they work from early morning on cleaning and preparing the soil for the seedlings. The interaction with each other also helps the children cope with their huge loss of parents.
The success of this important project has caught the attention of more local children, many orphans and others from seriously destitute homes, who also want to join the group of young gardeners. With additional support of generous donors like you, Sister Ann and Hôpital Sacré Coeur will undertake additional gardening classes and food production projects to benefit hospital patients and the local community.