The Jesus Alive School garden is located in Banda Village, an area traditionally known for its fertile land given its position between Mabira Forest (Uganda’s largest) and the northern shores of Lake Victoria. The garden – one of the first created – was established under the Developing Innovations in School Cultivation (DISCC) project in 2008, then supported by Slow Food since 2011. The garden is also maintained by the Pentecostal church community, which hosts about 150 people each week.
Designed as individual garden plots in raised beds, the garden grows a wide variety of vegetables, ranging from sukuma wiki (leafy greens), doodo and bugga (green and red amaranth), nakati (Ethiopian Eggplant) and eggplants, local maize, pumpkins, muwoggo (cassava), sweet potatoes, and matooke (steamed bananas).
There are over 45 students – children from age of 3 to 13 years – involved in the school garden. Both the Director of the school, Pastor Namyenya Robinah, and parents are grateful for the gardening project as they say that children can now identify their local food and herbs, plus also gaining the skills of agriculture in early childhood. More than 15 among the elders students (age 7-13) have gardens created in their homes with the concept gardening got from the school. This is a very good result as regards young children loving gardening and growing there local food.
Besides the garden being an educational tool for all in the community, harvested vegetables and food are usually eaten at school as a shared meal. Some elder students may also benefit of cooking training thanks to the Dembe Catering group.
Banda Kyandazza Village, Kyabalogo Parish, Nakisunga Sub County, Mukono District