My name is Zenon Ndikuriyo, I’m a Health and Nutrition Coordinator with Concern from the east African country of Burundi. Burundi is one of the world’s poorest countries and this year in particular, we’re facing real food security challenges.
Poverty in Burundi
Growing up in Burundi, I have first-hand experience of the hardship endured here. As a result of widespread poverty, malnutrition is endemic. Shockingly, more than 50% of children under five are severely malnourished. This stunts their growth and impacts irreversibly on their mental and physical development.
The reality is distressing, especially to me as a proud Burundian, however I am positive that we have the ability to improve the nutrition of children in Burundi. The problem won’t be eradicated overnight but sustainable community-based initiatives, such as kitchen gardens, are small but effective tools in the fight against malnutrition.
The kitchen garden is a simple structure; circular and raised above the ground with an inner circular basket in the centre where compostable waste is added to nourish the soil. The gardens produce an array of vegetables ranging from cabbages to carrots. They provide a nutritious and diversified diet to families, especially children under five for whom nutrition is so crucial.
The Concern team and I provide families in Burundi with the materials necessary to build the kitchen gardens. What’s more, we also provide agricultural, hygiene and cookery training to families. The training is led by selected community members who are trained on nutrition and childcare practices. This model not only ensures the maintenance of the gardens, but importantly it ensures that education is passed through the community and everyone can benefit from the knowledge.
They really do work
I’m proud to say that our kitchen gardens have benefitted over 996 families and over 2000 children in Burundi since 2014, and we continue to witness the positive long-term impact the gardens are having on these families. Based on this success, we’re hoping to provide kitchen gardens to at least another 200 families, and for you to join us to make this a reality.
Support the kitchen garden fund
Join our project by donating, big or small, to help build 200 more kitchen gardens. Each garden costs just $98 to create, which includes seeds, a watering can, a wooden stake and other tools to ensure the long term effectiveness of the garden.
It’s amazing to think that under $100 could support the physical and mental development of a child. If you can, please join the project and help us reach our target – your support will mean the world to families in Burundi.