It’s exciting to usher in another year with Development in Gardening and have so much to look forward to! We have come a long way since our meager beginning 6 years ago, and I’m proud that we have not lost our grassroots focus or sacrificed our core values in order to survive. With a strong Board of Directors and an inspiring staff, DIG is poised for significant growth in 2012. Our project in Lwala has been particularly meaningful for me as DIG continues to explore how deeply we can impact a community. Thanks to a partnership with the Segal Family Foundation, IYF Starbucks, Rotary and Lwala Community Alliance; we are expanding on our established hospital garden to incorporate two rural primary schools. Together, we will work with a handful of men and women from the Lwala Hospital garden to train teachers and students at the schools on how to develop and sustain their own DIG gardens.
The thought of being able to increase the capacity of the hospital’s community impact, to witness our participants’ ability to teach DIG’s model, and to incorporate DIG’s gardens into the education and feeding program of two under resourced schools is incredibly exciting! My hope is to see DIG continue to grow in ways just like this, where the reach of these gardens and what they are able to provide is endless. We have a lot before us and whenever the mountain tops seem out of reach or I need a reminder of what is possible from DIG’s simple garden initiative, I think about one of DIG’s local facilitators, Kayima Patrick, who has turned around a once stigmatized HIV positive community into a community of experts. Their group actively nurtures their families and themselves while standing witness to potential of a seed planted in fertile soil. I’ve shared his story on so many occasions and once asked him how he and his group have been able to achieve so much with seemingly so little. He replied to me with a laugh saying, “Sarah, there are 12 hours in every day.” So whenever I need that extra boost that we can take this initiative further and become a significant response to the global health crisis facing those living with HIV I think of him and all the resources we have before us. If he sees a day as 12 hours of potential, can’t we all?