Frances & Sayuni show impressed donors the progress that has been made
As a way of sustainability, gardens have been started to generate income and provide nutrition for the children. In these gardens, we grow vegetables like cabbages, carrots, onions, beetroot, green beans, French beans and medicinal herbs.
In addition to the income and nutritional benefits of the gardens, then can also become an integral component of the school curriculum as the children are taught horticulture and other practical skills.
The second garden plot, close to the classroom
The Executive Director proudly displays the very first cabbages to be harvested, in December 2010
If you would like to see more photos and information about whether the first crop was successful, then click here.
The garden in Rushaga has become a model garden for the community and a good food supplement to the children. It is able to raise money which is used to buy more seeds, and scholastic materials for the children and it has acted as a laboratory for both the community members and the children.
However, running the gardens remain a challenge, in that we still face difficulties in paying labour, renting the plots and borrowing garden tools. It is not until we achieve these that we shall be self sustaining. With help we shall get there with time.
In Kiswahili, we have a saying that "pole pole niyo mwendo” literally translated as slowly by slowly makes a journey. Sunbeam Project seems to be following this saying . It has left no stone unturned in trying to give hope to orphans , vulnerable children and the community at large. Sunbeam Project has now started a mushroom centre, 500 meters away from Rubuguri township in Kisoro District.
A site was identified and a thatched shelter to house the mushrooms was built. The start of a mushroom center is timely , it has come at a time when the older orphans need vocational skills and therefore the centre will provide hands on training in mushroom growing to the children hence a milestone to their self reliance .It will also benefit community groups especially women who have not been able to identify viable and lucrative ventures to engage in ,the center will voluntarily give knowledge and skills and help them technically to set up their own small projects and even create market for them. If resources allow the project eyes setting up a drier so that in case of low demand it can preserve its mushrooms in dry form to supply the market when the demand is high.
Mushrooms being a food of high nutrient value, they will go a long way in supplementing on the children’s diet and generating money to meet their perpetual needs.
A big round of applause to our international friends Steve, Terry, Joyce and Lorna whose abiding and tireless support has been responsible for getting us to this stage.
Carrots and more!
Due to public demand for vegetables in Rubuguri Township and need to raise more money to meet the needs of the children, the board of directors decided that the project starts an organic vegetable garden 500 meters away from Rubuguri township. This garden is to act as a demonstration plot for the communities in Rubuguri and also be the food basket for the locals. If resources would allow, it would also multiply seeds locally and sell them to farmers. Like the mushroom centre, it will be managed by older orphans in Rubuguri and it will help to inculcate in the them a spirit of hard work and self reliance.