For years, upon traveling to Gambia, we take along seeds for various projects on behalf of Gamrupa Europe as well as for families with a limited stretch of land without means of acquiring seeds, The sharing of seeds is (not yet) spread within the surroundings but this changes gradually.
Since 2009 the Foundation Gamrupa Europe obtains seeds, especially from Prof. Dr. Willem van Cotthem and starting from 2012 on behalf of the people, who continued seeds for nourishment. At this occasion our Chairman, Ellen Meulenveld, takes on the challenge and drives with an obtained Ford Transit to Gambia with the convoy of the Foundation Go for Africa under the direction of Jan Huizinga. A great deal of seeds, collected by an incredible number of people from all over the world, are taken along, often by washing and drying their proper vegetables and fruits, then sent to seeds for nourishment. Even shops and wholesale participate by passing their overabundance to seed for nourishment.
The Foundation Gamrupa Europe obtains some of this to take along and to spend on people, who can grow their own food, sometimes within the vicinity of their poor hut or house, sometimes within the more voluminous women’s garden in the village. Sometimes also nearby the schools with their proper garden.
Within the school garden, the students not only learn to grow vegetables and fruits. Beside, they experience how to measure their stretch of land, so as to sow in rows or fields. The growth of plants is written down in a small notebook.It is noted down how long it takes before the seedlings point out their little heads above the soil, followed by the measuring of the plant growth, as well as the quantity of water required. It is discussed where a certain kind grow better than elsewhere. The harvest is weighed and a calculation is made concerning the sales proceeds. Part of the harvest goes to school meals. The remainder, in case there is an overabundance,is sold on the market to be able to buy books and other school materials from the takings. Briefly, practically speaking, this amounts to calculating, drawing, measuring and writing. A fine way of teaching, that allows the students to learn to take care of their own future.
That way, the children learn that earning money is a question of countless efforts and work and that a lot of time and patience is necessary to obtain some proceedings, In addition, thus the children learn thinking ahead and this makes it quite peculiar for Africa.
The next step will be to instruct the garden teacher always to grow a couple of plants, so that seed can be harvested. One of our problems is that the garden teachers are still mainly volunteers, who will only take out a short time.
An outstanding initiative, started at some time by a pigheaded professor from Belgium, who feels you should better share than get rid of and to see to it that your neighbor can take care of himself instead of raising a pedantic finger.