World Social Justice Day 2018: A Core GHI Value
POST AND PHOTOS BY MAGGIE ANDRESEN // PUBLISHED FEBRUARY 2018
Webster’s dictionary defines social justice as, "A social philosophy advocating the removal of inequalities among people." At Gardens for Health, we believe strongly in removing barriers to health care access and education when treating childhood malnutrition. We work with the most vulnerable families in our fight against malnutrition and as a result poverty and access to resources are one some of the greatest inequalities we see in our programming. Working to break down the inequalities that accompany low socioeconomic status is integral to the success of our approach.
Education and access to knowledge is central to our programs, whether it be in village health centers or refugee camps, and our trainings are made to be accessible to people who may not have had the opportunity to attend school in a formal capacity. Our handouts and materials are designed to be easily understood. For example, when we teach out dietary diversity, we teach about “four-colors,” whereby we use colors to demonstrate nutritional benefits of various foods. White foods, like rice, potatoes, ibitoke (plantains) are energy foods; brown foods like beans, eggs, or peanut flour are strength foods; orange foods like carrots, orange flesh sweet potatoes, or tomatoes, are Vitamin A rich foods good for eyesight; and green foods like amaranth or kale are vitamin and iron-rich foods good for overall health. In this way we can convey complex nutritional topics in a fun, easy to remember way. By equipping mothers with the knowledge and resources they need to set their children on the path to better health, we empower them to rise above the conditions that contributed to their child's sickness.
We also advocate for families that are particularly vulnerable, by offering financial and institutional support. In order to provide support beyond what education can bring, field staff instituted the Turi Kumwe fund, an entirely staff-funded, managed, and implemented endeavor. The fund identifies families struggling with severe and urgent threats to their health and wellbeing, and leverages the staff’s own resources to provide temporary, emergency support. We know that if families are struggling with issues external to our program, like housing or other medical conditions, they will not be able to focus on proper nutrition. Through this initiative, we have helped families access medical insurance, rebuild destroyed houses, access care for complex medical conditions, and more.
Gardens for Health International (GHI) embraces the idea of strengthening rural communities through education and targeted agriculture training so people feel empowered to stay in their homes instead of leaving them. Our program puts families on a path to food security, advancing economic opportunities available to them as income usually spent on food can be redirected during harvest-time. When families have access more secure livelihood options in their communities, they are dissuaded from migrating for economic reasons. In Rwanda, where a high population density increases pressure on agriculture land yield, our model allows families to maximize modest plots for bountiful harvests. GHI works primarily with smallholder farmers, and thus we operate with their realistic needs for rural economic success as a priority.
Breaking the barriers inflicted by poverty isn't easy, but our partner families are incredibly motivated to heal their children and relay what they have learned not only to their families but to neighbors, community leaders, and friends. Sharing support and knowledge for the common good is our definition of social justice, and it's what we are blessed to witness every day.
Umwanditsi & Amafoto na Maggie Andresen
Umunsi Mpuzamahanga w’Ubutabera 2018: Indangagaciro y’Ingenzi ya GHI
Inkoranyamagambo ya Webster’s isobanura ubutabera nk’ “intekerezo isyigikira gukura ubusumbane mu bantu”. Mu Murima w’Ubuzima, twizera cyane kandi tugashingira ku gukuraho inzitizi mu bijyanye n’ubuzima n’imyigire iyo twita ku bana bafite ibibazo by’imirire mibi. Dukorana n’imiryango ibabaye cyane kurusha indi mu rugamba rwacu rwo kurwanya imirire mibi, kandi tubona ko ubukene no kutabona ibyifashishwa mu buzima bwa buri munsi ari bumwe mu busumbane mu igenamigambi ryacu. Gukuraho ubwo busumbane bukurikira ibyiciro biciriritse mu bijyanye n’ubukungu ni ingenzi cyane kugira ngo tugere ku ntego yacu.
Kwiga no kubona ubumenyi ni ingenzi cyane muri gahunda zacu, byaba ku bigo nderabuzima cyangwa inkambi zibamo impunzi, kandi dukora ku buryo abantu batagize amahirwe yo kujya mu mashuri na bo babasha kujya mu mahugurwa yacu. Ibyigwa n’imfashanyigisho zacu bikorwa mu bucyo bworoshye kumva. Nk’urugero, iyo twigisha ibijyanye n’imirire itandukanye, twigisha ku “mabara ane”, aho dukoresha amabara dusobanura intungamubiri ziri mu ndyo zitandukanye. Indyo zifite ibara ry’umweru, nk’umuceri, ibijumba, ibitoke, ziri mu bitera imbaraga. Indyo zifite ibara ry’ikijuju nk’ibishyimbo, amagi, ifu y’ubunyobwa, ni indyo zikize ku byubaka umubiri. Indyo zifite ibara ry’umutuku/orange nka karoti, ibijumba bikiva mu butaka bya orange, cyangwa inyanya, ni indyo zikize ku ntungamubiri izwi nka Vitamin A bikaba bifasha amaso kubona neza; n’indyo z’ibara ry’icyatsi nka dodo n’amareti zifite intungamubiri z’ubutare kandi zigirira umumaro munini ubuzima muri rusange. Muri ubwo buryo tubasha gusobanura ingingo zikomeye zijyanye n’imirire mu buryo buryoheye abiga kandi buborohereza kwibuka ibyo bize. Mu guha ababyeyi ubumenyi bakeneye ngo abana babo barusheho kugira ubuzima bwiza, tubashishikariza guhangana bakanatsinda ibyatumye abana babo barwara.
Twunganira kandi imiryango ifite ingorane nyinshi, tubaha ubufasha bw’amafaranga cyangwa ubundi bakeneye. Kugira ngo dutange ubufasha burenze ubwo kwiga byatanga, abakozi bakorera mu baturage batangije umuryango witwa Turi Kumwe, uterwa inkunga n’abakozi ubwabo akaba ari na bo bakoramo ibisabwa byose no gushyira mu bikorwa ngo ugere ku ntego zawo. Uwo muryango ushakisha imiryango ifite ibibazo bikomeye by’ubuzima bwabo muri rusange, ukifashisha abakozi bawo ngo utange ubufasha bw’agateganyo cyangwa bwihutirwa kuri iyo miryango. Tuzi yuko mu gihe imiryango ifite ibindi bibazo nuwbwo byaba bitajyanye n’ibyo twibandaho muri gahunda zacu, nk’aho kuba cyangwa ubundi burwayi, ntiyashobora kwita ku mirire myiza nk’uko bikwiye. Muri iyi gahunda, twafashije imiryango imwe kubona ubwishingizi mu kwivuza, tububakira amazu yasenyutse, dufasha mu kubavuza indwara zikomeye badafitiye ubushobozi bwo kuvuza, n’ibindi bitandukanye.
Umuryango w’Ubuzima ushingiye ku gitekerezo cyo guteza imbere abatuye mu byaro binyuze mu kwiga no gukora amahugurwa ku buhinzi kugira ngo abantu bumve bakunze kandi banishimiye kuguma mu ngo zabo aho kuzita. Gahunda yacu yinjiza imiryango mu rugendo rwo kwita ku mirire inoze, kongera amahirwe bafite mu bukungu kuko amafaranga binjiza bakayakoresha bashaka ibyo kurya yakongera akagaruzwa mu gihe cy’isarura. Iyo imiryango ifite ubworozi n’ubuhinzi butekanye aho batuye, bituma badahora bimuka bashakisha uburyo bwo kubaho. Mu Rwanda, aho umubare w’abaturage wiyongera cyane bigatuma ubutaka buhingwa buba buke, gahunda yacu yigisha imiryango guhinga mu butaka buke bakabubyaza umusaruro munini. Umuryango w’Ubuzima ukorana n’abahinzi boroheje, tukibanda ku kubafasha mu byo baba bakeneye twibanda ku gutuma ubukungu bwabo butere imbere.
Gukuraho inzitizi ziterwa n’ubukene ntibyoroshye, ariko imiryango dukorana ifite ubushake cyane bwo kuvuza abana babo bakanigisha ibyo bize mu miryango yabo kandi ntibigarukire aho ahubwo bakabyigisha n’abaturanyi babo, abayobozi babo mu midugudu, ndetse n’inshuti zabo. Gutanga ubufasha n’ubumenyi ku nyungu rusange ni cyo twita ubutabera, kandi ni cyo twagize umugisha wo kubona buri munsi.