School Gardening: An Independent Self-Sustaining System Against Hidden Hunger

Short description

Enabling the production of animal proteins, vegetables and water using limited available resources and affordable technology. School gardening is a holistic approach to educate women and children on nutrition and farming.

Which problem do we aim to solve and why?

Quantitative and qualitative nutrition is one of the biggest problems in the Ivory Coast. The focus of our project lies on finding a sustainable way to reduce malnutrition in smaller villages in the northern areas of the country, which is mainly caused by:

1.) Limited resources
2.) Lack of food literacy and bad nutritional Habits
3.) Water scarcity.

Our solution

There are two main target groups for the School:

  • Children at school age (6 – 14; future Generation)
  • Women (15 – 30; are believed to be the key for a steady food supply)

The school garden project is based on three pillars:

1.) Improving the level of education
2.) Teaching of food literacy and nutritional knowledge
3.) Applied training in the school garden and the chicken and insect farm to enhance farming skills

Briefly, the school garden is used to grow vegetables such as: sweet potato, manioc, tomato, bell pepper or chickpea. While most is cultivated for human consumption, some is used together with food loss/waste as feed for the insect farm. Larvae of the black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens) are used as nutritious and protein rich feed for the chicken farm. In the end, eggs and chicken meat are produced to address the vitamin A, iron and zinc deficiency in the population.

Besides the three main pillars several (optional) supporting actions are planned:

  • Cooperation with “Warka Water”: to address water scarcity
  • Dispensing of supplements: to create a short-term sense of achievement
  • Provision of bicycles: to increase mobility (school way, additional water fetching)
  • solar panels at the school: to run basic installations.

Why is our idea innovative, new and different?

Traditional development projects have in common their dependency to external resources; this often leads to failure! Our project has a different approach since it is self-sustaining and involves local stakeholders. We address women and children with a new education form: combining practical and theoretical work. Our idea uses technologies, easy to build and to maintain, but at the same time very innovative and effective, for example the Warka tower for condensing water from the air and the insects grown on food wastes, as poultry feed.

How is our idea feasible?

Projects with big results need big money. We do think exactly the opposite! We think that a feasible project is the one that starts with low investments using simple technologies – like our school garden. Providing the supplements, we generate short-term benefits increasing the motivation for the project, while with the products from the school garden we generate a long-term success and stability. Involving local stakeholders, we guarantee the social and overhead support for a good launch and roll out of the project.

Which technologies, channels or methods are we planning to use?

  • Water: Warka tower and bikes for collecting water
  • Insect farming (black soldier fly) for chicken farming
  • school gardening for education, food literacy, farming skill/knowledge
  • school gardens for food production for villagers
  • solar panels to provide basic electrical needs for the Schools
  • Channel = local/ existing universities/experts which are in direct contact with local communities.

What outcome and what improvements do we expect? How do we measure these?

short term:

improving nutritional status of pregnant women and children under 5 years.

long term:

– decreasing child mortality and the rate of food borne diseases – measured by regular health assessment.

– Improving food literacy and general farming knowledge – measured by continual educational assessment.

– a sustainable system and self-satisfactory farming yields – measured by the yield in kg/ person.

Our budget planning & acquisition of potential partners

An approximation for a village with 300 inhabitants: 2855 $

Insects, black soldier fly larves (1”600’000): ~ 20 $

Warka tower: 2 x 1000 $ (produced in Ethiopia)

Bicycles: for free (Bike against hidden hunger campaign)

Solar Panels (250 Watt panel): 1 x 335 $

Seeds and educational materials: ~ 500 $

Multivitamin supplements: for free (Fund raising campaign).

School Gardening: An Independent Self-Sustaining System Against Hidden Hunger

Team:   Sanzio Rombini, Roua Zein Eddine, Clemens Levy

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