I remember the palpable current of a new year that ran through our house on the first day of school; my backpack at the ready with sharpened pencils, fresh notepads of lined paper, and a box of color crayons that hadn’t been smashed or eaten by the odd kid two desks over.
The kids in the Congo are heading back to school this week too, 100 of them because of YOUR support. Via Amani’s vision through ABFEK, not only will they study languages, letters and numbers, they’re also learning agriculture, and the art of growing gorgeous food for better nutrition.
Amani writes about two children in particular, Manu and Namegabe, who over the summer break used their hands to study gardening, digging in the dirt of the shared ABFEK farm, in order to pass along their experience to their schoolmates. They’re very interested in agriculture, and excited to teach other kids.
The rainy season normally starts early in September, but this year has been special with rains off and on since mid-July. When it starts raining on a more regular basis, the garden will grow well. In the dry season people need to water the crops on a daily basis but as rainy season starts, there are no more water problems.
This shot of the shared garden shows cabbages, carrots and onions growing, where the women and children supported by ABFEK learn about agriculture. Most of the vegetables are native to Eastern Congo but not everywhere. In the Mumosho district, Amani writes, “people are not used to growing carrots, eggplant, peppers…we want to do it on a larger scale to fight malnutrition through the schools.” Amani plans to use this as a pilot program to expand the experience in other communities based on lessons learned.
As the kids head back to school, we’ll be sharing their stories of a new year. What are your favorite stories of going back to school?