After her husband was killed during fighting in South Sudan, Yaka Lucia walked – while two months pregnant, and with nothing but her three children – to the border of Uganda. She was brought to Palabek refugee camp, and seven months later she delivered her baby girl Rosa in her mud hut with the help of two women she had just met.
Before Yaka Lucia planted her garden, they were living only on maize, soya porridge and beans. Living on these basic food rations, her breast milk dried up and she was unable to feed her baby. Thanks to her permagarden she is now able to feed her children for the entire month and her breastmilk has returned. After enduring such loss and hardship, she now has some hope again for the future.
How do the Permagardens work?
The key to the project’s success is teaching people how to evaluate and revalue their local resources, build and nourish the soil and harvest water, ultimately making their garden ecosystem stronger as it matures.
So how do you do this with no money? Walking through each refugee’s plot, families learn that they have a great variety of useful and free waste resources around them – charcoal dust, dried manure, fallen leaves and nutrition for the soil in the rubbish pits and bush all around them. Participants ‘walk the water,’ coming to understand the flow of rainwater across their land as they learn key principles in how to manage it to their benefit.