Gardens for Health International works to provide lasting agricultural solutions to chronic childhood malnutrition by:
- Partnering with health centers in Rwanda to provide agricultural support and health education to families struggling with malnutrition
- Working with the Rwandan Ministries of Health and Agriculture and multi-national partners to integrate agriculture into the treatment of malnutrition
- Providing technical assistance to partners interested in adapting our methodology
What We Do
Gardens for Health operates at the nexus of agriculture and health because we believe that in order for families to break the cycle of poverty and poor health that stems from malnutrition, we need to address its root causes.
We do this by partnering with Rwandan health centers to bring sustainable agriculture to families in need at the point of care. Physicians at our partner health centers give patients and their families a prescription for our program. We meet each family where they are and designing a home garden that applies the best of sustainable agriculture to the real world conditions they live in. We also work with families to address issues like family planning, gender based violence, HIV/AIDS and mental health – all of which are making it harder for mothers and families to feed their children.
In addition to our direct service work, we work at the policy level to advocate for policies and programs that integrate food security and agriculture into the clinical treatment of malnutrition. We sit on the Ministry of Health (MOH) technical working group on nutrition, and on the Ministry of Agriculture (MINAGRI) technical working group on agriculture. This year we have also worked closely with UNICEF and the EU to design multi-lateral interventions that include home gardens as a key driver of better health and nutrition.
Finally, recognizing the broad relevance of our approach to groups who are vulnerable to malnutrition, we have begun building “smart networks” of partners through which we are able to disseminate our methodology and materials.
It is through this combination of direct service, advocacy, and training, that we hope to promote a model that will revolutionize the treatment of malnutrition in rural healthcare systems across sub-Saharan Africa. By investing in the agricultural capacity and health knowledge of mothers, we arm them to win the fight against malnutrition.