In 2021, Random Acts made Food Equity a focus. From our Random Acts Food Equity page, food equity is “the concept that all people have the right to equal access to or the ability to grow and consume healthful, affordable, and culturally significant foods.” In late May, Mount Nyiragongo erupted and directly affected Goma, the capital of North Kivu province in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. The damage done by the eruption led to severe food and water shortages in the region. Regional Representative Jade Wardle and supporter Natasha Monteleone saw an opportunity to help. They reached out to Danny Ndaliko, a contact for Mama Jeanne’s Orphanage in Goma.
Growing in Goma
“Before the act, myself, Danny, Tash, and Giles got together on Zoom to speak about what was needed in Goma right now,” Jade said. “After multiple meetings and Danny speaking to a contact of his in Goma, we came up with a garden project that could help the orphanage have a vegetable garden where it has been [impossible] previously due to land issues.” The plan included planting two large gardens. The first, having a total area of 30 meters by 25 meters (98 feet by 82 feet), was divided into four growing areas: cabbage, red onion, peppers, and cucumbers. The second garden, 20 meters by 15 meters (66 feet by 49 feet), would grow cauliflower and sweet potatoes.
Both Jade and Random Acts generously provided funding for the project to get underway. This donation also funded later maintenance of the gardens. Danny assembled a small team, including Samuel, once an orphan at the orphanage, who became the team’s photographer. The team kept Jade and Natasha updated on the garden progress, sending pictures and videos along the way. What resulted were beautiful garden plots full of budding vegetation. Their first cultivation in May produced 1,191 cabbages, 1,340 leeks, 42 eggplant trees, and 36 pepper trees.
When reflecting on the act, Jade stated, “I loved getting the updates from Danny and seeing the workers and children during the prep and building of the garden.”
If you would like to know more about Food Equity, be sure to check out the Random Acts Food Equity website for further information. If you would like to connect with Random Acts, our Regional Representatives would love to help you find similar opportunities in your community. Thank you for supporting our mission to spread kindness and compassion!