Our Approach

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Our roots are in Rwanda

For over a decade, Gardens for Health International has been working hand-in-hand with local communities to end chronic malnutrition. Our innovative curriculum on agriculture, nutrition and health topics was designed in partnership with local mothers, our trainings are led by talented educators who come directly from the communities they serve, and our dedicated staff is over 90% Rwandan.

We believe in changing systems, not treating symptoms.

Integrating agriculture and nutrition into the health system is the only sustainable solution to effectively treat and prevent malnutrition. We work in close partnership with the Government of Rwanda by teaming up with community health workers, delivering trainings at local health clinics, and advising policy.

 
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Our Work

We take a holistic approach to ending chronic malnutrition by training mothers on key agriculture, nutrition, and health topics.

 

Farming for life, not just a living  

 
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Agriculture

The long-term cure for chronic malnutrition isn’t found at a health clinic, but it can be grown in one’s own backyard. We partner with malnourished families to enable them plant home gardens full of diverse vegetables so they have a lasting source of nutritious food. We provide seeds and hands-on trainings in skills like composting, creating pesticides and other techniques to maximize crop yields using resources readily available to families in rural Rwanda.

 

Knowledge is the key to change

 
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Nutrition

Before we can expect mothers to feed their families nutritious food, they first must understand what nutrition is. We teach parents essential knowledge like the benefits of a healthy diet, what makes a balanced meal, and best practices in breastfeeding. Our innovative One Pot One Hour lesson demonstrates how to cook a healthy meal with limited time and resources so that every mother can provide her children with the nutrients they need to thrive.

 

A comprehensive approach to a complex problem

 
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Health

Sick children often become malnourished, which makes them more likely to get sick yet again. Breaking this cycle requires addressing every factor that leads to malnutrition. In engaging trainings, full of song and dance, we educate mothers to identify symptoms of common illnesses and teach proper hygiene practices. Our comprehensive curriculum goes beyond the basics, promoting family planning and creating a safe space to discuss gender-based violence.

 

 Our Programs

 
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Child Nutrition Program

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Our flagship program serves malnourished children under five. We identify malnourished children and invite their mothers to enroll. Over fourteen weeks, participants attend agriculture trainings in their village and health and nutrition trainings at their local health clinic.

Maternal Nutrition Program

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Inspired by mothers who said they wished they had known more about nutrition before their children became malnourished, we began working with pregnant women. Over six weeks, expecting mothers learn about nutrition and health topics to ensure their wellbeing, as well as that of their newborns.

Expanding with Partners

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With over a decade of experience in Rwanda, GHI has emerged as an expert in the region on nutrition-sensitive agriculture. By partnering with like-minded organizations we are expanding our reach to new settings and populations such as refugees and primary schools.