A little tomato plant produces so much more than just juicy red fruit. In the bush community of Baraka in central Zambia, it has provided hope. The Community Based Organization (CBO) in Baraka had little in terms of finances to start a garden, but the Care Workers had a desire and a vision to see the children they were feeding enjoy balanced meals with valuable nutrients from fruits and vegetables.
With the partnership of Hands at Work and the funds raised by the Gilchrist family from the U.S., the community of Baraka was able to plant two gardens in July of this year. The Gilchrist family, including their four children, was so moved by the story of the orphans in Baraka, that they spent a whole summer doing odd jobs and pet sitting to raise money to support this community (you can read more about their story here). Presently, the gardens are filled with tomato and colza plants. The Care Workers all take ownership of the gardens and come together multiple mornings a week to weed, water, and cultivate.
Not only is Baraka CBO able to sell some of the vegetables to the local community and invest this money back into their garden to purchase seeds and fertilizer, but they are also able to feed the harvest to the children. The daily meal that they serve to 50 of the most vulnerable children in the community now looks a little more colorful and is filled with more nutrients with the vegetables they are now able to serve. The CBO is planning to expand the garden and to plant more vegetables in the future. After the rainy season, they hope to plant cabbage and spinach.