JWW has partnered with HIAS on a project to improve food security for Darfuri refugees in Eastern Chad through perma-gardening. The project seeks to help Darfuri refugees produce their own nutritious crops year round, greatly improving their food security and reducing their reliance upon external assistance and international aid to survive, which has massively dwindled in recent years.
More than a decade has passed since several hundred thousand refugees fled the Darfur region of Sudan for neighboring Chad. More than 300,000 Darfuri refugees currently reside in Chad, the majority of whom live in 12 camps in the eastern part of the country. This project is implemented in 4 of those camps.
What is Perma-Gardening?
Perma-gardening is a technique that integrates water-saving methods, companion planting, and organic soil fertility practices to mimic a self-sustaining ecosystem within a small area, allowing high yields of nutrient-dense, seasonal fruits and vegetables to be available year-round using only local tools, plants, and materials.
The project’s goals are three-fold: to empower gardeners to use local resources to overcome challenges in gardening; to increase household food consumption; and to provide financial planning to save.
Lead gardeners are selected, five per camp who already have home gardens or farming experience, who then recruit 10 members into a solidarity group. Lead gardeners are trained in perma-gardening methods and provided with seedlings, then they train their solidarity group members to develop their own individual gardens.
Solidarity groups will also be trained in financial literacy and principles of village savings and loans associations (VSLAs). Groups will set-up VSLAs to act as an informal safety net and to specifically save funds towards purchase of seeds for the next production year.
Perma-Gardening Photo Gallery: