Dassa April 2012

Proposal

Post: Dassa

Date(s) of project: The school garden was planned and laid out at the beginning of April. Half of the seeds purchased with the GAD Small Project (GSP) fund will be planted at the end of May or as soon as funds are received. The other half will be planted at the beginning of the next school year. Trainers and educators will be invited periodically to work with the students and share information and skills about gardening or nutrition.

Brief description of Project:

The goal of the project is to establish a school garden with the environmental club at CEG Kpingni in Dassa-Zoumè. The club was created at the beginning of the school year and meets every Wednesday for two hours. 35 students regularly attend the club and every session is co-facilitated by an English teacher at the school. The school garden will serve as a platform for achieving a number of practical and educational aims related to gender, health and the environment, including the enhancement of nutrition education, the practice of improved gardening techniques and the development of life skills. Students will also learn about market gardening by selling some of the produce from the garden in their community and keeping records of takings. This will provide both an educational opportunity to develop business skills and funds to reinvest in the garden, thereby ensuring sustainability. The long-term objective of the project will be to transfer knowledge and practical skills to the student’s homes in order to increase environmental awareness in the community and improve the capacity of families to meet their health and nutritional needs.
Beyond equipping the students with practical knowledge and skills, the school garden will also serve as a platform for empowering the girls in the club and promoting equality between the girls and boys. The girls will be completely involved in the decision making process during all stages of the project, from planning out the garden and organizing the work to maintaining the garden and selling the produce. This involvement will help foster a sense of shared ownership between the girls and boys, as well as help the girls develop important life skills, such as the ability to make real choices and decisions, both individually and in groups, and take initiative. The girls and boys will also share roles and responsibilities in the school garden, which will prompt them to think differently about the existing gender division of labor, tasks, and responsibilities. A more in-depth gender analysis will be carried out during educational sessions on gardening and nutrition, where students will be encouraged to reflect on their own perception of gender roles at home and in their community and think about ways they can change some of their own behaviors to promote equality. The school garden will not only serve as a place to cultivate plants. It will also serve as a place to cultivate new attitudes towards gender and development.
The idea of a school garden has already received full support from the school and the community. The Director designated a 3000 square ft. area next to the school for the garden last month and, since then, the students in environmental club have cleared the area, constructed a fence, built compost piles and started a Moringa tree nursery. Both the Director and the English teacher who co-facilitates club meetings have been completely involved in organizing and implementing these activities. In fact, they organized and completed the construction of the garden fence on their own, that is, without the volunteer being present. This is one of many examples that highlight their commitment to the environmental club and their understanding of their roles as permanent teachers and roles models for the students. Local gardeners, midwives, foresters and agricultural extension agents have also agreed to come to the school and act as trainers and educators for the school garden. For example, at the beginning of April, a forester came to talk with the environmental club about the importance of trees and the problems associated with deforestation. Afterwards, he helped the students install a Moringa tree nursery. Such interest and involvement from the school and community will help ensure the success and sustainability of this project.
The funds from the GAD Small Project (GSP) fund will be used to purchase seeds, materials for gardening, and a sign for the garden. The types of seeds were selected for multiple reasons: to teach students how to grow different types of vegetables, to increase the availability and access to healthy foods for the students and community, and to facilitate conversations on how to improve the students’ diet and health. The materials, including two rakes and two watering cans, will be necessary to maintain a healthy garden. The sign will be used to beautify the garden and create a sense of ownership. The materials, including seeds, watering cans and rakes, will be stored in the Director’s office and will be the responsibility of the school. All other costs, from additional seeds and materials to travel costs for the trainers and educators and for the purchase of seeds, will be covered by community contributions.

Number of people involved:

Gender/Age
Category
# of
Individuals
# of Service Providers (work partners, Project co-organizers,
technicians, animators, etc.)
Women over 24 2
Men over 24 5
Girls 15-24 7
Boys 15-24 13
Girls under 15 10
Boys under 15 15

Budget:

Item Number Unit Cost Total Cost
Packet of Carrot Seeds 2 1400 2800
Packet of Cucumber Seeds 2 1800 3600
Packet of Eggplant Seeds 2 1800 3600
Packet of Tomato Seeds 2 1800 3600
Packet of Cabbage Seeds 2 2000 4000
Packet of Lettuce Seeds 2 1500 3000
Watering Can 2 3800 7600
Rake 2 1500 3000
Sign for garden 1 5000 5000
Moringa Seeds 80 1000 Community Contribution
Land 3000 sq. ft 100,000 Community Contribution
Bamboo trees for fence 120 6000 Community Contribution
Packet of nails for fence 2 3500 Community Contribution
Hammer 1 1200 Community Contribution
Travel (to buy seeds and materials in Parakou) - 6000 Community contribution
Travel (for trainers and educators) - 500 Community contribution
Total 36200

Amount Requested: 36200

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