Planting the Seeds for a Sustainable Future
The Don Bosco Oratory in Santiago del Estero, Argentina, is set to launch a new virtual environmental program that will teach families and children how to create their own home gardens. The virtual program, designed to meet the needs of the community during the coronavirus lockdown period, is part of the oratory’s ongoing “Young Farmers, Towards Responsible and Sustainable Participation” project, which began in 2018.
One of the goals of the “Young Farmers” project is to encourage youth to develop a commitment to the Earth and to acquire the education and training needed to become good stewards of it. The project involves basic environmental training and workshops, waste collection, and the creation of agro-ecological gardens that allow farmers to produce food while protecting the natural ecosystem.
The “Young Farmers” project was intended to provide education and training to youth. However, with the success of its early initiatives—the completion of an agro-ecological vegetable garden and a separate collection and recycling system for waste in the oratory building—and people’s growing sensitivity towards the environment, Salesian missionaries decided to broaden the scope of the project to include the wider community. The new virtual home garden training program is the first to be extended to families.
The goal of this program is to enable children and their families to create their own agro-ecological gardens, so that they have ready access to responsibly grown, nutritious food. To ensure the successful launch of the program, Salesian staff are collecting seeds, obtaining proper permits to meet official regulations, and assessing the local climatic conditions where families live so that their efforts will be successful.
“This is a wonderful time for families to be focused on learning skills to plant their own gardens and harvest their own food,” said Father Gus Baek, director of Salesian Missions. “This new project will have a positive impact on food assistance for the families and teach responsibility to youth.”
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