When we first arrive in a region, DIG joins an established local partner such as a hospital, clinic, orphanage, school, HIV community group or other organization. By listening and learning before we ever plant a seed, we ground ourselves in the land, its people, and the broader community to make a lifelong impact.
Our local partners introduce us to the uniquely vulnerable and marginalized community members whom our program prioritizes, and we then bring these individuals together around their shared vulnerabilities.
Together we co-design our program to best meet their unique nutritional needs. We adapt for climate challenges and the environmental nuances of the landscape. We seek market opportunities and let cultural diets inform cooking classes. After working closely with our local facilitators, these farmers go on to graduate as Farm Leaders, capable of training others to grow.
What’s more, these uniquely marginalized farmers now have access to additional opportunities offered by other organizations that were previously inaccessible to them before partnering with DIG. With access to nutrient-rich vegetables, the health, wealth, and sense of belonging of DIG farmers increase, enabling them to participate in programs offered by other organizations that cater to their needs in various ways.
When a school can better feed their students, education improves. When a hospital’s anemia rates go down, maternal and infant health outcomes increase. When a person living with HIV is well nourished, they are better able to provide for their families and contribute to their community.
*The $420/year gain was calculated by combining the money earned from sales of excess produce plus any money saved from not purchasing food annually. This was determined by a Cost Effective Analysis done in partnership with the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University and DIG.
The poverty line statistics come from Migori County Kenya where 46% of the populations lives below the overall poverty line.