Last month we started a new project with the children. It started with the idea of us three volunteers each planting a tree in the garden of the HOPE House. Its' director Ruby Nakka envisions the garden of the HOPE house to one day be a wonderful green landscape full of fruit and vegetable sources for the children to eat, as well as a natural habitat for insects and other animals. We thought it would be wonderful to support this.
We went to our local gardening store and each of us bought a tree. Clara bought a Starfruit-tree, Zoe bought a Jackfruit-tree and I myself bought a Litschi-tree.
The following day we spent the morning planting our trees. For all of us this was the first time we planted a tree and thus this was very exciting, yet also time consuming hard-work. After having finally dug a hole, deep enough for the tree (which definitely took us some time), I was finally able to plant my tree. After we all finished, the small children then assisted us in watering our plants (before they had carefully watched us in our activity).
Ever since that day, we have been watering the trees every morning. It did not take long for the children to greet us in the morning with the question 'When are we going to water the plants!?' in excited voices. With watering the trees, we aim to teach the children that with care, time, water and of course sunlight, plants will grow and will eventually bear fruits for us to eat. It is always nice to see the children enjoy this ritual every morning.
Alongside this, we then came up with the idea of creating a pathway through the garden around the building of the HOPE house. Here and there, you could see the old path, however we wanted to update this into a more tidy and broader path. Each of us took a tool and started to clear the earth of weeds and dead plants. Luckily we had some volunteers among the children that were great help to us. It took us a week to create the new pathway. Now we are very happy for the children and ourselves to be able to use it and make walking through the garden more enjoyable.
I for myself can say that I thoroughly enjoy the gardening work we have done the last few weeks. It is always nice to work outside and spend some time at the fresh air. Furthermore I enjoy that all the children, from ages 4 to 17, enjoy this activity so much and seem to look forward to it every single day. I hope to maybe some day come back to the HOPE House and see my tree bear fruit. Hopefully the future children of the HOPE House can eat a lot of Starfruit, Jackfruit and Litschi.