“Tishange Mbewu - Urban Agriculture in and for the ghetto” is a project of organic bag gardening in Bauleni compound (Lusaka) aiming at empowering vulnerable women.
The bag gardening technique is adapted to slum context: it is cheap and done with reused materials, it requires few water and no ground soil, it provides vegetables on doorstep. A 1m3 bag gives the equivalent of a 5m2 cultivable area. 7 bags cover the needs of a 6-person family for a week. The organic vegetables will help diversify the diet and improve nutrition, but they can also be income-generating.
Our objective is to empower women, through training on gardening techniques, health/nutrition and entrepreneurship. A hundred beneficiaries will be trained over a year, spread in twenty-person batches. Each group will follow a four months training program and benefit from the project team support.
Thus, women will also break the vicious circle of isolation and feeling of powerlessness. In line with what is already being implemented by the association, the community will also be sensitized to the protection of environment.
The main activities are the training and the support in materials (manure, earth, stone…) and advice. The project will also conduct experiments to adapt the techniques to Bauleni's context and develop a network of experts on urban agriculture in Lusaka, in order to spread this innovative gardening technique beyond the direct beneficiaries and Bauleni.
The project is implemented by In&Out the Ghetto, a Zambian NGO working on social field since 2012 and aiming at developing the community and empowering the youth. An organic gardener will join the team of experienced social workers as technical manager.
"Tishange Mbewu" means “we plant a seed” in chinyanja. We believe that, amongst the seeds which will be planted for this project, many will help feeding the families, but some will also flourish in people’s mind, in order to empower them and broaden their perspectives.
Funded by Lusaka (December 2015)