Greenhouse is first step towards becoming sustainable at Precious Vision, Kenya
In addition to the food programs at the Precious Vision school to provide vital nutrition to children while they learn the goal has always been to help the school become self sustaining, the first step on this path has taken the form of a greenhouse.
Tess Doogue, GVI Kenya Project Manager, explains: ‘The installation of a greenhouse at Precious Vision is the first example of an income-generating project funded by GVI Mombasa and the Charitable Trust. Produce grown in the greenhouse will be sold at a competitive rate to the local community, the proceeds from which will go towards teacher’s salaries. This project is extremely exciting as it is the first step towards Precious Vision becoming financially self reliant.
Importantly, there is a high level of investment by the local team. Madam Jane (Community leader) is an experienced farmer and her skills, knowledge and commitment have been crucial in the formation of the project. A “greenhouse committee” of standard 6 students has also been formed, to support Madam Jane on issues such as water management, and importantly, to teach students some practical food production skills. Families in slum areas such as Shauri Yaku (where Precious Vision is located) have no access to tenable land, so those skills are not passed onto younger generations. GVI has employed a gardener (selected by the community) as an additional support for the running of the structure, on the understanding that once the greenhouse is producing money, his wages will come from there. Although his wage is modest, he is given free accommodation at the school and is provided breakfast and lunch from the school’s feeding programme. The first crop rotation is a ‘learner’ crop of various spinach-like greens, low profit margin, but ideal for the first three months of learning how systems work.’
Tess also explains that in addition to the clear tangible benefits of the initiative the school has also benefited from a huge morale boost due to the increased activity and progress.