Of all the inputs an agricultural development program can provide, education is the most sustainable, important and revolutionary. Part of our excitement about the June Global Giving Challenge stems from the opportunity we have to enhance students’ educational opportunities in two ways.
First, our agricultural programs are designed as educational programs. Typical students are parents, and our curriculum includes topics such as nutrition, hygiene, family health and food storage, as well as farmer responsibilities and obligations like record keeping, collecting inputs, grain and field crops for the family, feed for the animals, field fertility and raising small animals for protein. The money raised in the Global Giving June Challenge will fund a collective farm for two Ecuadorian schools attended by over 500 children. Instead of parents, we’ll teach their young students helpful skills and habits they can adopt early on and benefit from their entire lives. Our focus is to teach them how to grow nutritious food so that they may be better prepared for future agricultural self-reliance, and live healthier lives now. Our hope is that the learning will not stop with the current 500 students, but that it will be passed on to generations of students to come.
This leads to the second way this project enhances student education: the unique location of the gardens means increased opportunities to apply principles learned in the classrooms. Students won’t just sit in a classroom and learn about raising vegetables, but they will take a hands-on approach to cultivating the soil, and the principles they learn. The farm itself will also prove to be a self-sustaining resource for the schools’ nutritional needs. Students will receive a supplemental agricultural education in addition to their normal school material. Due to the demographics of the area, many of these students will go on to become farmers, and we aim to set them up for success in providing for themselves and their families.
Our hope, at Feed the World, is that the nutritional and educational aspects of our Global Giving project will reach young students in order to positively affect the way they feed themselves and their families for years to come.