BuCL has an exciting new project in the works. Deborah Waibi has begun working with women in the community to increase their knowledge of food nutrition and to teach sustainable methods of cultivating fruits, vegetables and protein-rich foods.
Deborah has begun the project by bringing together a small group of the community’s most influential women, teaching them reading and writing skills, and simultaneously sharing seeds and gardening expertise. She is setting up sample gardens on the library’s land in order to demonstrate sustainable, small-scale agricultural methods. Aiming to reach as many families as possible, she will be encouraging this group of women to share their acquired knowledge and extra seeds with their neighbours.
The women are also being encouraged to reserve these new healthy foods for their families. Women’s crops are often sold by their husbands for cash, and so Deborah’s husband John has begun his own initiative. He has begun distributing fruit tree seedlings to men in the community, following up with them to ensure the trees are being properly cared for. These visits allow him to spend time speaking to the community’s men about the importance of supporting their wives in this project. He has been encouraging them to take an active interest in ensuring that their children are provided with enough nutritious food.
In addition to literacy and agriculture, the project aims to introduce a third focus: a small-scale women’s income generating initiative. Hopefully the library will soon be able to sell handicrafts made by the women in this group!