Project Origins and Objectives
Originally an Energia per I Diritti Umani project, it started in Summer 2015 in the Ballangar village (Gambia), where we fenced one hectare off and, together with the village’s community we gave birth to our first vegetable garden. Thanks to the harvest of the garden, we managed to enrich children meals with minerals and vitamins, which often lack in traditional African meals.
The ultimate objective of this project is to provide at least 1 meal per day for each child supported, as a well-fed child can not only grow better, they can learn better too.
The challenges we faced and the solutions we came up with
- Roaming animals can cause many problems for crops. Our durable and cost-effective solution was a sturdy iron fence which now protects the farmed area.
- Irrigation was a challenge, since rainfall cannot be regularly relied upon and existing local infrastructure needed to be adapted. We implemented a tank, a solar powered pump which now helps ensure access to water when required.
- Investment was needed to finance the project. Thanks to the generosity of our supporters, we held collections and fundraising events to raise the necessary funds. We then recruited volunteers to join us during our trip in November 2015.
- More trips will be scheduled, and we’ll need your help to make them a success!
Even if the project has been successful, we noticed there are still problems in the village: the monthly cost for materials and seeds and the lack of proteins in the children’s diet. We had to find something more to reach our goal of making them self-sufficient and guaranteeing the children a healthy meal. After consulting with locals, the solution found was to build a poultry farm.
You may be wondering why a poultry farm?
The supplement of chicken in children’s diet increases their protein intake, which they were lacking.
Once grown, chicken can be also sold on the market, to buy different food or garden materials OR to obtain money to manage the vegetable garden.
Finally, chicken provide a lot of natural fertiliser, which can be used to enrich the garden soil.
This new step started in August 2016, when we finished raising the money. We hope the poultry will be finished in December 2016.