The Casa Cittadini Home for Girls, a home for orphaned, abandoned, and neglected girls, has a large, 1,200 square meter vegetable garden. A number of local volunteers maintain the garden, and thus are provided space within the garden to cultivate their own small plots for their families. The garden is producing vegetables currently, but it is not productive enough to supply the center with enough vegetables for the girls. For this reason, and with World Connect's support, Casa Cittadini is expanding into dragon fruit farming. Dragon fruit is know to yield fruit during every season and fetches a high price in local markets. The fruit will be sold in a grocery store in nearby Dumaguete City, and profits will be reinvested in Casa Cittadini and distributed amongst its volunteer garden workforce. The project is a collaboration between the local Peace Corps Volunteer, local agricultural experts, the Casa Cittadini and its volunteer farmers, and will result in the formation of a local dragon fruit farmers cooperative.
The group has planted dragon fruit, as well as eggplant, tomato, sweet pepper, ampalaya, upo, and legumes. In the beginning, the group was using fertilizer, but has now transformed the garden to 100% organic. They make their own homemade organic fertilizer, which they sell to community members. The group is in the process of registering the garden club with the Department of Labor and Employment, which will provide more opportunities for the club members.
"The garden project is empowering the local families who are poor and jobless. They have learned the art of gardening, the correct ways of growing vegetables, as well as how to make organic fertilizer. Saturdays is the gardening day and it's something they all look forward to because it promotes a sense of belonging and family spirit. The families are also eating healthier and the produce is free from chemicals. The children have also learned the art of gardening and responsibility through this project." - Celina, Project Participant
“It feels satisfying to help in the garden and eat crops we helped grow.” – Casa, Project Participant
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INPRHU is an inclusive social development NGO, inspired by Christian values, that promotes equal opportunities, and civic participation to promote fundamental human rights in Nicaraguan society. We fa... ...Learn more