Today we completed our first community project. The past two weeks have been focused on surveying our community figuring out the needs of the community. Over the course of two Saturdays they reveled to us that livelihood was their primary concern there was a need for a livelihood project. From that realization they decided a community garden would meet those needs.
Volunteers began setting up and doing last minute preparations at 7:45am. The participates started arriving at 8:00am and the event was officially opened with a prayer around 8:40am. To kick off the meeting our three main facilitators, Jeanie, Megan, and Kalliope lead the group in an energizer called “The Garden Clap.”
The resources were the first things discussed. The volunteers listed the materials they would be contributing and asked the attendees what were other resources they brought for the day.
- Hot Pepper
- Yardlong Bean
The total list included: seeds, fence material, two shovels, pesticides, Bolo, Pala, Walis, Rata, Ax, Asarol, and Opick ax. The next activity required the community to express their ideas for the community garden. Each person or group took a piece of paper and created their garden landscape and shared it with the rest of the group. Peace Corps Trainees provided the group with sample plots that were used by other groups. 8 landscapes were presented. During the presentation time it was difficult keeping the group quiet but they all had similar designs with smaller details to solidify.
Then the group went on to review the tasks for the day and add any additional task they felt were necessary. These were the tasks:
- Establish an administration board.
- Build Fence
- Garden demonstration using a sample plot
- Create a community sign for garden
- Prepare land and discuss erosion prevention
Task left with the administration board was to establish gardening maintenance, rules of operation and funding. Bahay Kubo was sang as one final energizer before the large group was split up. The group was split up based on where they felt they wanted to contribute to accomplish the tasks. The last thing the group decided was that there would be 5 groups of six people and each group would be in control of a certain plot. Those groups would decided how often they would tend to their plot. There were people from the community missing so it was offered that those missing members would add their name to the list produced and join that group.
The land was clear, installation of the fence had begun, and the design for the garden sign was decided before lunch. This was more than was anticipated.
The young adults in charge of creating the sign for the garden took the initiative to purchase paint that was not provided and white wash/prime the piece of wood before jumping into the paint design. They took pride and ownership into it.
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