In Rwanda, over 40% of children under the age of five are chronically malnourished.
Overall, world food programs have noted that Rwanda is experiencing diminishing food crisis but in particular, the Bugesera region is at the highest risk in the country for food shortages and insecurity. Consequently, many families only have one meal a day even when they have children under six-years. That meal itself does not include enough nutrients for the proper growth of the child. By integrating a kitchen garden accompanied by nutrition and cooking curriculum within each site, the centers will address the goal to alleviate malnutrition issues for children attending the center as well as for the community.
CULTIVATING COMMUNITIES is a supplement to the foundation project of the construction and implementation of Early Childhood Development centers. The construction and cultivation of community gardens at 5 of the 8 center is thought of as a means to expand the current ECD programming with the integration of an environmental and nutritional curriculum for the center’s communities and documentation for a replicable green building prototype.
Our proposal divides the funding equally between each site to build and plant 5 nurseries&kitchen gardens that would be utilized to provide at least one healthy meal to the children of each community daily, while serving as a laboratory and educational tool, not just for the children but for the whole of the community. Each center has been constructed with a kitchen that can be used as a teach facility as well.
The kitchen garden will be used to grow vegetable and promote innovative agricultural and nutritional techniques. The siting of each center takes advantage of favorable adjacencies between agricultural processes and their raw materials, establishing a classic nutrient cycle. Solid waste, processed through composting toilets can be used as fertilizer, raising public awareness of the potential productivity of every available surface.
With the addition of CULTIVATING COMMUNITIES, the ECD ensemble promotes nutrition, sustainable practices and hygiene education, not just for the children, but for the entire community. The design of the facility fosters children relations and interaction among all inhabitants of the community. Parents, teachers and children will benefit by the resources of the center and its landscape, which will be utilized and productive throughout the year.
On one hand, the integration of a kitchen garden accompanied by nutrition and cooking curriculum within each center will address the goal to alleviate malnutrition issues for children attending the schools, as well as for the community. On the other hand, the understanding of sustainable agriculture practices will increase the awareness and behavior on the issue of stimulation, land management, climate change, nutrition and use of resources contributing to greener communities.