In February of this year we set up a new kitchen garden at the Children’s Crisis Centre that we support in Thailand. The Centre helps children on a temporary basis who have fled Burma and have lost or become separated from their parents. It provides food, shelter, education and trauma counseling for those who have been through traumatic experiences. It is vital in the protection of children who are otherwise extremely vulnerable to trafficking, exploitation and abuse.
The kitchen garden was set up to meet a number of needs and in the last few months it has really taken off. One of the primary needs is food. It costs £30,000 to ensure all the children receive adequate nutrition for the year and this is a way for the centre to start to provide for themselves in the long term. It cost just £3000 to set up and run the kitchen garden including the rent of the land, employment of a skilled gardner and the purchase of tools and seeds. The aim is that the produce from the garden will reduce the Centres’s food bill by 20% each year.
In addition to this, the garden project is a fantastic opportunity for the children who work in groups of five and use the experience to learn about responsibility, nutrition and basic agricultural skills. Each year both the staff and the children will be getting specialist agricultural training where they can learn about the land in their area and how to get the best out of it.
Yeye Win (the director of the Centre) described how the program has given many of the children a great creative outlet during this month's summer school break and thinks it will be really helpful for preparing them with skills for their future.
John Littleton, our Asia Regional Manager says “The children are very enthusiastic about the project and considering they have plowed and planted almost 3 acres of land in 3 weeks and helped dig a well, I’m pretty impressed!”
So far the children have planted eggplant, chillies, tomatoes and pumpkins, and they expect to get their first crop in 2-3 months time.
Feel free to find out more about our work in Thailand and consider donating to the project.