By Allison Dudas, Community & Editorial Manager for Changents
Gardens are simple things. They begin with arable land and seeds, and reach fruition with the help of water, sunlight and a generous serving of TLC. Yes, they are simple. But they can have life-changing importance to gardeners and the communities in which they grow.
Rachel Zedeck “gets” the value of a garden. The social entrepreneur behind Backpack Farm — which equips and trains small landholder farmers in Kenya — is expanding her focus to include the power of gardens in schools. Not only will these gardens help combat malnutrition with the food they produce and the education they provide, they will also serve as investments in one of Africa’s most valuable and vulnerable resources: its youth. ROOTZ Rising, the apropos name of this brilliant initiative, aims to get to get at the “roots” of many challenges faced by East African communities. With the ambitious goal of planting 10,000 school gardens by 2025, ROOTZ reminds us of the simple yet profound value of growing food, and the potential for community-based agriculture to change lives.
Rachel’s pioneering work got the Changents team thinking: if she and ROOTZ Rising are doing so much good with gardens on the front lines of change in Africa, how are people using their gardens to have a positive impact on the home front? To find the answer, we launched a photo contest on Facebook. The entries were uplifting, colorful and just darn cute! The five gardeners whose photos received the most “likes” will receive a ROOTZ Rising t-shirt courtesy of Love + Water Designs, the t-shirt company that creates wearable philanthropy.
Congratulations to our winners! Take a look at how gardens are helping good to grow in their communities.
Next page: Check out the winning photos!
Photo from John Pozadzides via flickr
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