Vulnerable Children Society’s first long-term on-the-ground volunteer, Stefan Jasuira, left today for Ethiopia. Stefan, a landscaper, serial volunteer and globe-trotter, is spending three months in Addis Ababa developing urban gardens to enable food security among impoverished Ethiopian children.
Stefan’s task is huge – but it will have a lasting effect of the quality of life for 70+ children and their families.
First, Stefan is launching up a demonstration garden at Vulnerable Children Society’s Love & Hope Centre in Kality, on the outskirts of Addis Ababa. Children from impoverished families attend the centre each day, to receive a hot meal, after school tutoring, love, medical care, counselling, clubs and unconditional acceptance. Many of the children are orphaned, but their guardians are already involved in the centre, preparing meals for the children each day. Stefan will work in partnership with the guardians and Vulnerable Children’s partner, Canadian Humanitarian, that runs the centre, to build vegetable gardens. The gardens will not only enrich the diets of the children who attend the centre, but also teach valuable intensive gardening skills to the kids and the community.
Across town, Stefan is planning another garden on a smaller scale. Vulnerable Children’s partner Hope for Children in Ethiopia runs an effective retraining program for young girls who want to escape the sex trade and start new careers. The ten girls live in a group home, and the plan is to work with the girls to build container and vertical gardens within the courtyard. The gardens will be managed by the teen girls, empowering them to provide some of their own food, be less income reliant, and enrich their cooking skills for working in restaurants.
We hope you will follow along with Stefan’s adventures over the next few months, and see our cooperative urban gardening projects grow.
This nourishing project is financed by Vulnerable Children Society’s General Project Fund. If you would like to contribute, please donate here.