Friday, January 1, 2010

Hope 4 Women International Victory Gardens

Hope 4 Women International’s goals are to bring dignity, joy, health, and God’s Love to the women of Uganda. In a society where women are so devalued we want them to know that God cherishes them. One method of providing dignity is by teaching them to be self-sufficient and by growing proper food so they and their children can eat and be healthy.

Victory gardens became popular during WWII when the president’s wife encouraged people to grow crops in order to feed their families. They once more became popular in the US as our economy is in a state of suffering.

Hope 4 Women volunteer; Robert Cinader was compelled to help the suffering women and children of Uganda by providing funds and seeds to one of our Ugandan partners, Smile Africa Ministries. Pastor Ruth called together 300 women and discussed how to plant and care for the gardens.

Women filled with Joy at the news of receiving seeds

The women were then given seeds and sent out to plant their crops. Hotbeds were planted and the women transplanted the healthy plants to their gardens.

Demonstrating Hotbeds

An overseer visited the gardens offering advice, spraying, etc as the crops came into being.

Each woman was instructed that at the harvest she is to bring in 5,000 shillings from her profits and set aside enough money and seed to fund next season’s garden. The 5,000 shillings ($2.50) from each woman will be put into a fund to pay for the person who goes around to the garden spraying for bugs, etc. It will also pay for the spray.

The first harvests came in and the women joyfully showed off their beautiful crops. One woman sold her vegetables and had enough money left over to pay back the ministry and to rent a larger plot of land for her next crops!

As they prepare for the next season of planting Smile Africa will have a walk-behind motorized plow to aid them in plowing bigger plots.

We are fast approaching our goal of 1500 gardens in one year. The ultimate goal is for all of Uganda to feed its children.

Hope 4 Women/ Hope 4 Kids visits Uganda approximately five times a year to check on your investments. This past November while in Uganda, Rachel Eggum Cinader, director of Hope 4 Women International, and her husband Robert hired a driver and visited some of the victory gardens. Here is Catherine’s story:

Catherine had a bumper crop of eggplants and local cabbage. She generously gave out of her garden to those who were in great need.

Catherine is on the far left rejoicing in her garden

She sold a big portion of her crops and purchased more seed and rented a larger plot of ground. She proudly announced: “I was struggling to pay school fees for my grandson and I was able to pay them when I sold my vegetables.”

She brought out a beautiful plastic watering can she purchased with her profits so she can water her gardens when the rains fail to do so.

Catherine allows her friend Grace to use her new watering can

Standing next to her was her good friend Grace who also had a successful garden. As we strolled through the gardens they burst into joyful laughter that can only be shared between two great friends. Grace fluffed up her hair. “We also had enough money to get our hair done!” They then turned toward one another and let loose with more peals of laughter.

When we finished walking through Catherine’s garden they led us to their neighbor who received seeds from Smile Africa. She proudly showed us her garden and said, “Not only have I benefited from my own garden but I am a hairdresser. When the women have extra money from selling their vegetables—they pay me to do their hair.” WOW! How’s that for putting prosperity into motion?

Timothy and Robert present the hairdresser with a Victory garden stake

This neighbor led us to the home of yet another neighbor who had been a seed recipient. She has a partially built house—she adds bricks as she can afford them and someday hopes to have a complete house. She decided to plant her gardens in the “rooms” of her partially built home.

These women are so resourceful and given the chance and tools they can become self-sufficient and I know someday she will complete her house and can say with dignity, “Look what I have done with what God has given to me.”

The House Garden

We are excited about what has been done so far but are looking forward to 2010 with great expectation. Our friend, Larry Sallee, from Seed and light international and can be found at donated enough seeds for about 1800 gardens!

Some of those seeds went to the Pygmies in the Congo. The rain forests of the Congo, which have been home to the Pygmies, are being destroyed. This eliminates many of the animals they hunt to feed their families. They were given seeds and a Ugandan gardener will travel to the Congo to teach the Pygmies to grow their own food—with great hopes of preserving these people! We are in need of funds to purchase garden hoes, sprayers, etc. in order for them to begin preparing their land to plant crops in February.

Robert presents seeds to the Pygmy Chief—enough to feed their 300 families

We also left seeds and pages of written instructions sent by Larry of Seed and Light International for Outreach to Africa, our partner in Western Uganda.

In Tororo, Uganda Robert held classes on composting, killing the bacteria in the soil through solarization, etc. He made copies of the instructions sent to us by Larry Sallee and left them with each ministry that will be overseeing the gardens planted by the people in their area. We gave out the remainder of seeds donated by Seed and Light International and Robert chose a core group of people to plant demonstration gardens. He taught them to test the soil and to replenish the PH in the soil by using wood ash collected from their cooking fires.

Timothy, a young schoolteacher who loves helping the women of Uganda, is Robert’s contact person for the demonstration gardens. He recently reported:
“We have decided to have at least four demonstration gardens. We felt it was wise enough to try different lands too and not to put all our eggs in one basket. I guess you know what would happen if the basket falls. So these gardens will work as reserves and will help us with more information to deliver.”

Timothy goes on to say: “First I visited Andrew's gardens and found out that he had planted the squash and water melons and they had all sprung out with very healthy and tender leaves and also he has bags full of decaying compost for his gardens right out side his house

So after great time in his gardens I then rode down to visit our other gardens. Oh wow!!!!!!!!! It was so amazing seeing the red cabbages, spinach, tomatoes, beets and carrots doing really well in their seedbeds. Every plant is growing very fast and healthy due to the great preparations here.”

For those who have no land or access to land—they can start with bag gardens and move on from there as they make profits and purchase or rent garden plots. One can also poke holes in the sides of these gardens in a bag and have plants growing throughout the bag taking advantage of all of the space.

Robert is also introducing co-op gardening so women can share land and become self-sufficient together.

In April Hope 4 Women will return to Uganda with Hope 4 Kids and are expecting to find hundreds of healthy gardens/crops. Not only are women going to be feeding their children but also they will be doing so in a healthy way. On our recent trip to Uganda I was told over and over, “It is so wonderful not to worry about what to feed my children. I just go to the garden and it is there!”

Along with more classes we will be introducing herbs and nutrition education. Hope 4 Kids International is drilling wells throughout Uganda and we know that along with clean water, our nutrition education and provision of gardens we will save lives.

Currently in Uganda 50% of the children die before reaching the age of five. 52% of Ugandan’s population is children fifteen years old and younger. The life expectancy of those who live beyond fifteen is forty-six years old. With your help we can turn a dying nation to a thriving nation!

We need your help to continue this great project:

Greatest Needs for Victory Gardens in Uganda:

Tools & Supplies for 300 Pygmy families: $600

Walk Behind plows—Each organization will have one or two gas powered “tillers” and will till the widow’s gardens for a nominal fee (if she is destitute we expect them to do it for free).
These plows will strengthen the self-sustenance of the organizations and provide jobs for those who will plow the gardens as well as bring in an income for the organization.
The plows will allow for larger gardens as the women now prepare their gardens with their hand held hoes—it’s slow and tedious—the plow could turn the soil and prepare the garden for planting within minutes. Smile Africa has received the funds for one tiller so to purchase one for each of the other organizations would be $12,000. To add an additional tiller to each organization to manage the hundreds of gardens each will have is an additional $16,000. (Sturdy plows or tillers are approximately $4,000 Each)

A pickup truck—This would be for the gardens of Smile Africa Ministries—they are the core group with whom Hope 4 Women started these gardens. While our other organizations have vehicles for transporting Smile Africa does not. Each time they go visit gardens, take seeds to widows, transport produce, etc, they have to hire a vehicle. As this is expensive and non-productive we would love to purchase a truck for them. We can get a nice truck for around $15,000.

Wish List for Victory Gardens:

In order to continue to grow this program throughout Uganda we will purchase the following items each time we visit Uganda according to the funds donated toward these items. For instance this past November we distributed 300 garden hoes along with thousands of seeds.

Garden Hoes: We’d like each person who has a garden to also have a garden hoe for weeding, etc. The cost per hoe is $5 to $7 each—depending upon the market. —We will purchase hoes each time according to the donations toward purchasing hoes.

Watering Cans: On those occasions when a dry spell hits the women can carry water to their gardens from the wells and watering cans help distribute the water over the plants. Approx $11 each.

Machetes: For clearing out bushes etc for new garden plots. Around $5 each

Rakes: Around $5 each

Spraying Pumps: for the organizations as they visit the gardens and spray for fungus, etc. We need a total of eight at $40 each =$320

Insecticides & fungicides=$1500 for all gardens

Gum Boots: Most women work in their bare feet. We’d like to see them protect themselves by wearing gumboots. About $10 each.

For questions, suggestions and donations please contact

To donate online: check the Hope 4 Women International box and put in the amount.

To donate by mail: Hope 4 Kids International; Hope 4 Women Victory Gardens; P O Box 74010; Phoenix, AZ 85087

Hope 4 Women’s Future Plans for Victory Gardens

For our friends in Peru who live on sand dunes we would like to introduce Gardens in a Bag.

We would like to provide seeds, training and tools for the women of India.

In August we will be traveling to the gypsies of Romania and would like to introduce seeds and gardening to them.

Wherever Hope 4 Kids/Hope 4 Women travels we see people in poverty. If we can provide them with clean drinking water and a way to grow their own food we can change their world!

Hope 4 Women International remains indebted and extremely grateful to Seed and Light International for without them we would never have expanded our seed distribution so quickly. Larry also provided us with a wealth of information, which we were able to pass along in hopes of growing top notch successful gardens. Please visit them at and thank them for helping us to feed the people of Uganda.

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