Home > Voices from the Alliance > Training Gardens and Garden Wells – Knowledge Meets Nutrition in Ouelessebougou

 

 

Since 1986, the Oulessebougou Alliance has engaged in transformative, cooperative initiatives that have improved the quality of life in the region through health and education. Education and health go hand-in-hand, and students cannot be expected to properly learn when they go hungry. Malnutrition is a serious concern in Mali and to fight the issue, the Alliance has developed an agricultural program specifically aimed at village women and children. The school garden is modeled after the Women’s Training Garden. Since 2016, over 80 women have received training on efficient gardening and composting practices, increasing crop production and incorporating their garden produce into their family’s diets. Additionally, they are taught how to manage products for consumption, sale and preserve products they cannot sell. They see great benefits from the extra food and extra income.

We launched a pilot program at the Famana School in 2016, combining education with hands-on experience in a school garden. Here the students receive training and hands-on experience growing nutritious food. The school garden is modeled after the Women’s Training Garden, and the children receive the same education as their mothers. Together they can take that knowledge back to their families to fight malnutrition at home. Now the Alliance includes nutrition training in the curriculum for all 12 village schools. By educating students on the basic practices of proper nutrition and gardening practices, our goal is to empower a generation that will suffer less from nutrition related illnesses. Health, education, and economic development efforts converge in our Garden Well project, and we are proud of the fruits it has produced so far. With more financial support, the Alliance can provide the means to ensure that the next generations of Ouelessebougou will have the ability and knowledge to drastically improve the quality of life for themselves and their communities as a whole through nutrition and self-sufficiency.

Want to get involved in the Garden Well project? Please consider giving a donation to help further fund our initiative. If you can’t donate, spread the word about our work on social media. You can follow Ouelessebougou Alliance on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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