After a pilot programme in 2012, with AOG World Relief Vietnam, where children were taught the nutritional value of herbs and vegetables, school gardens have been established in the provinces of Dai Hung and Tam Phu. Significant achievements have occurred including:
At the school gardens the teachers educate the students (using the FPS field guide) on the nutritional value of various plants and showing them how to plant and look after them.
The students at the schools have also been enjoying the benefits of the plants they have grown as they are provided with a nutritious lunch at school.
- Initially the children only tended the plants at school, however, now they are provided with seeds to take home and plant there, so the families are starting to grow more of their own plants and vegetables.
- The skills the children learn now will benefit them should they become farmers as many of their family have.
- Schools are saving money each month from not having to buy food, which means this money can be redirected to other necessities for the school.
- There has been an increase in enrolments as parents feel more confident in the school’s ability to provide for their children nutritionally and give them safe clean meals. This in turns frees up the parents to increase their household income they have more time to work now that their children are being cared for.
- Eight Food Plant Solutions school gardens have been established, with three more immediately planned.
- Our program partner has said “Food Plant Solutions is a useful program because it is purposed to empower children in their context to harness local food plant resources to feed themselves and their families in response to the emergency facing the developing world in terms of the rise of malnutrition amongst the human population, particularly children.” And “We have received reports from some communities where the success of the garden has reached the ears of teachers at different schools and also different communities who want to replicate what they have heard about. These teachers have travelled to the schools where the gardens have been established to observe, take photos of the garden and ask questions so they can then replicate. This is a great outcome!”
- Malnutrition has significantly reduced – one school has seen a reduction of 80%, another 95% – IN ONE YEAR.