Garden Revitalization for Girls Empowerment in Ecuador
The Fundación Dorotea Carrión provides a welcoming home for 36 Ecuadorian girls and young women who can no longer reside with their biological families due to issues of domestic violence, alcohol and drug addictions, or sexual and psychological abuse. The foundation houses and feeds the girls, provides them with education, and assists in their personal and professional development. This project will transform the outdoor space at the foundation by replanting and reorganizing the garden and building its upkeep and care into the girls’ everyday lives. It will also lead to the building of an outdoor classroom, painting colorful inspiring murals, and constructing a fire pit for night time social gatherings.
Each girl will be assigned a small plot in the garden with one or two other girls, and they will participate in gardening, composting, and nutrition workshops. At the end of each month, the girl with the most impressive plot will be awarded a prize. Produce from the garden will be used in lunches, as well as in cooking classes to teach the girls about proper nutrition and healthy diets. This project will foster youth empowerment, leadership, and responsibility, while also beautifying the garden and improving nutrition among the girls.
The garden is thriving with green onion, kale, napa cabbage, cauliflower, squash, spinach, broccoli, parsley, and cilantro, which are being utilized every day in meals. The girls are very responsible and have been watering the garden daily, as well as helping to clean and organize the outdoor space. Through interactive workshops, they have learned new recipes, such as scrambled eggs with vegetables, and have assisted in making compost, which will be applied to the garden to improve harvest.
"The garden project is an important opportunity for the girls to develop responsibility, life skills, and to prepare them for the rest of their lives. Working in the garden is hard work, but the girls have shown a lot of strength." - Ana, Project Leader
"The garden is useful for our lives. We have learned how to take care of the garden and to value what is planted. Also, we have learned to separate the trash from the compost and to harvest what we grow. I like the foods that are grown in the garden, because they are healthy and without chemicals." - Diana, 14, Project Participant
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