The focus of plant2learn is on school gardens as a model system for holistic learning about nutrient-rich foods, cultivation of various foods for self-sufficiency, which are selected by local people themselves, and the implementation of technology for improved cultivation.
The problem we aim to solve
A) Fight illiteracy
Knowledge about hidden hunger is essential in creating an awareness of the urgency of the problem. A DRASTIC CONFRONTATION of the consequences of malnutrition using concrete examples within their own community is necessary.
Afterwards, strategies to avoid these consequences can be taught.
B) Fight nutritional deficiencies
The lack of nutrients can be specifically addressed by offering a balanced combination of fresh and home-grown foods. Within a short time, the health of people in the community can improve.
Level 1 – Didactic material is designed to elucidate the importance of a nutrient-rich diet. Together with local experts, food for cultivation is selected and potentially usable acreage is identified.
Level 2– School gardens are created using local food and standard methods that cover the micronutrient needs. The students are practically trained in the cultivation of nutrient-rich foods and learn to ensure self-sufficiency in food.
Level 3 – To expand the food supply with milk and meat, a simple hydroponic system for nutrient production for livestock will be established.
Level 4 – In order to ensure a permanent and regular water supply installations that capture rainwater and water from the air will be built.
Level 5 -The system is supplemented by solar panels.
Throughout the development phases of the school gardens, the insights gained through the progress made will be passed on to other schools. This is achieved in workshops for different target groups.
Important in the approach is to not impose anything on the community. To fully meet the nutritional needs, it might be necessary to raise awareness for locally rather untypical foods. This shall be realised with the support of local experts and associations.
In this conception phase, my focus is on the implementation of Level 1 and Level 2, while the subsequent levels are supplemented later depending on available funds. The previously mentioned technology education follows in the subsequent levels.
The innovativeness of our approach
- The holistic coverage of micronutrient requirements;
- Schools and students serve as multipliers;
- It is an almost completely self-sufficient system;
- Schools become more attractive through free, healthy food;
- A combination of traditional and novel, efficient farming technologies that are simplified to such an extent that they are affordable and usable for everyone;
- The foods grown are selected by local people. It is important that changes are made through their own convictions and not imposed from the outside, in order for them to have a long-term effect.
Technologies and Methods
Since the focus is on education on hidden hunger, the following methods shall be used
- Research-based learning;
- Workshops to convey practical knowledge and skills;
- Educational material for playful teaching;
- School gardens.
The following potential partners would be helpful for implementation:
- Local nutrition experts;
- Local media;
- School authorities in Uganda to gain access to schools;
- Social associations active in education, health and food production;
- Extracurricular educational institutions would be helpful in the development of pedagogical teaching materials;
- Research institutes with hydroponic vegetable growing projects;
- NGOs with practically implemented projects;
- Advice on energy supply;
- Architect for assistance in planning the plant.
There are already relevant contacts in part of these areas
Voting ends on June 24, 2018, 11:59 pm (CEST).