Two of Restoration Gateway's primary vision objectives are childcare and agriculture. Lianna Scholz has done an amazing job merging these together to provide education and empowerment to our school aged kids. This is an excerpt taken from her April report.
The Secondary One class is enrolled in an agriculture course, meeting five hours a week in the classroom and school garden. This month, they were able to travel to Omer Farm, a large commercial farm west of Gulu, for a field trip. The farm graciously hosted us. The students received a thorough tour of the facilities, saw much modern machinery and equipment for the first time, got to experience a ride in a tractor operated by GPS, and heard about what is involved in operating such a farm. The farm also generously offered us lunch. All fifteen students attended, along with all secondary teachers and the manager of RG’s sustainable agriculture. A big thank you to Omer Farm for this experience!
The school maintains a garden, of which about one acre was ploughed and prepared this season. The secondary one and primary six and seven classes regularly maintain it; primary five has also participated. Preparations were completed in March, and planting began with the rains in the last week of March. The students have done all the planting, so the timing is reliant upon their availability. The primary purpose of the garden is education for the students. With this, we are planning continuous planting of vegetables each month. A larger crop will fill the remaining acreage not taken up by the vegetables and be planted by season. We have great plans for using this garden not only for the students to learn about caring for crops, but also record-keeping, sales and marketing, etc., as we progress. And eventually, we hope the students can use it as a tool to teach others.
The students have begun to landscape the secondary school (a new construction last year). We are trying to make a path to access the school without traversing mud. We expect paspalum grass to arrive next week that we might start planting it. A plan has been given to us to incorporate trees, shrubs and flowers as well. At this time, we do not have those plants available and there is not funding to purchase them. However, there is a plan and funding to start a nursery for these plants to landscape all areas in need at RG, which the students would also be involved in.