Ana Henriquez Perez
We were on mission in the field by visiting some of the schools in the North of the region of Kolda (Casamance - Senegal) where solidarity Alliance carries out its project "strengthening of social safety nets in the school canteens through the promotion local production, the introduction of foods of high nutritional value and respect for the environment". It was the fourth time that we were in the village Hamdallaye Samba Mbaye and... what a difference with the first time we step on the school garden!
Back then, it was all grass growing wild in every corner. On our next visit, already hanging of some branches small peppers and some pumpkin protruded. However, the third, it was not lucky. There were clear signs of neglect, with dry shrubs and areas covered with grass, and only resisted the moringa and the oseillethat is what we call hibiscus in Spanish and that in Senegal, it serves to delimit plots and whose leaves and flowers are used in sauces and juices.
The Chairman of the Management Committee of the school (CGE) told us that those hitherto dealt with take care of horticultural perimeter had neglected its responsibility, by which the educational community asked that leave his post available for those who Yes I would and could pay attention to the needs of the field.
You can see that, indeed, who now manages the garden makes it with due care and dedication. And the smooth running of the cultivated affects the mood of the members of the school of Hamdallaye Samba Mbaye, motivated and committed to the better management of the cultivated and the dining room.
Then we went to Diyabougou and, although she has always maintained it moderately careful, on this occasion, it was taste see the garden. What Orchard! In addition to high and resistant Moringa trees, just enter received us dozens of perfectly aligned cabbages, onions, peppers, diakhatous or African bitter eggplant, gombos, sweet potatoes and, of course, a small parcel reserved for the shiny Mint - here called "nana" - that add to the strong and nice tea drinking at all hours of the day.
Volunteers, technicians and animators we do not tire of congratulate women on the result of so much dedication and affection that were putting into the maintenance of the garden. What was our surprise when Awa, Member of the CGE and local health agent, confessed to us that they were the satisfied to see that, in recent weeks, the boys and girls of the school praised the flavor of vegetables and they asked them more in their lunch (!).
It is still a long way to go, but I believe that the seed of hope is already planted and growing strong thanks to the care of the community.