Girls Government Charity Garden

February 8, 2016 2:16 pm Published by

Volunteers who visit JBFC’s Kitongo campus always get a very cool experience. From learning how to prepare Tanzanian food in the dining hall, to working on literacy with Joseph and Mary students, to helping with development on our permaculture farm, JBFC offers a pretty intensive volunteer ride.

In July of 2015, however, JBFC’s young leaders in Girls Government and high school students from Bronxville High School worked together on something new. Over the course of two weeks, these young leaders from two very different parts of the world came together to identify an issue in our Kitongo community, brainstorm possible solutions, and implement a plan.

Giving back to our community has always been a core principle of JBFC’s current Girls Government leadership program. We put an emphasis on the idea that to whom much is given, much is expected, especially leaders.

With the arrival of volunteers from Bronxville High School, we saw an opportunity to not only teach both groups more about teamwork and leadership but to also take the girls’ community involvement to another level.

Six months later, the Girls Government Charity Garden was able to donate 18 kilograms (nearly 40 pounds!) of fresh produce  to a nearby church.

Over the past six months the girls have spent hours tilling, planting, weeding, watering, and now harvesting their garden. After spending an hour of harvesting a combination of eggplant, kale, and corn, we were able to call the pastor from the local church and hand over the 40 pounds of produce. He then took the fresh produce to families from his congregation, who are currently in need.

While we couldn’t be more proud of our girls and their partners at Bronxville High School for creating a project that is giving back to our community more than half of a year later, the girls themselves seem to be enjoying it.

“We are doing this in order to help Kitongo people who have problems and who are in real need. And also it is our pleasure to help people from Kitongo and to make friendship. We felt happy because they have accepted our gift. It is important to volunteer because we are learning how to help people and treat people equally.”
-Rose, Advisor to the President (also present in 2015 government)
“I would like to say that we are doing this to help people in need and who need help. And those people who need basic needs. We do this so we can make each other closer and we can show them how much we care about them and how much they are important to us. Money is not important (to make a difference), the important thing is to make our garden and we can help people without money.”
-Kulwa, President
“I am feeling happy. We are doing this to make friendship with Kitongo and to show them that they are important to us. I am so happy.”

-Siwema, Dorm Representative (also present in 2015 government)

JBFC’s impact on our community is massive in so many ways- through refuge, healthcare, education, agriculture, and employment. The next generation of change-makers- at the girls home, at the school, and from around the world- has already started to make a difference in our community and will certainly continue to do so.

Blogger Seth Diemond is JBFC’s Chief Operating Officer in Tanzania.

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This post was written by Mainsprings