Home Gardens: A Blessing During the Pandemic
The fear and disruption of COVID-19 and the rising violence against women and girls has made their lives much harder than they already were, but one thing is making them a little easier: home gardens.
Early on Judith, a farmer and local leader, stood out as someone keenly interested in learning about environmentally sensitive food production and community organizing. Since the beginning of the pandemic, Judith began encouraging her neighbor women to plant and care for their own “agro-ecological” gardens right at home, where they can produce vegetables for their families’ daily food needs.
Judith says that, during the current crisis, knowing how to plant, harvest and prepare vegetables has been a great blessing to her. Growing her own food has relieved her family’s economic stress and improved their nutritional intake, strengthening their immune systems in these dangerous times. She says she often has enough to share with neighbors. Contributing in this way to her own family’s welfare and that of those around her is a great satisfaction. So is knowing that the vegetables she grows are clean and safe, and that her garden is friendly to the environment.
With the whole family home due to lockdowns, most of the added domestic, childcare and teaching work falls to women. It’s true that home gardening also requires their time and attention. But, since both men and women have lost jobs in the paralyzed economy, any money families can save on food is a big help. And not having to go shopping for food as often lowers their risk of contracting the virus.
The staff of local partner Sembrandopaz, while mostly limited at present to contacting participants by phone and internet, is more committed than ever to supporting these communities throughout the crisis.
Colombia Sincelejo Montes de María Program
Led by Mennonite Central Committee and Local Partner Sembrandopaz