The local Harrogate and District Soroptimist Club was inspired to create their Kenyan ‘Meru Garden for Life’ at this year’s Autumn Flower Show.
President Pat Shore said:
Its the first time that the team have produced a garden, so the fact that it was for such a prestigious event made it even more of a challenge. It was only through teamwork, hard graft and the help of local organisations, who loaned us items for the event, that we were able to produce our Meru garden which we were really proud of. We were even more delighted that we were awarded a Silver Award!
So many people visited us and asked us about the purpose of our garden. In addition, a number of fellow Soroptimists from across the Region and beyond, came along over the three days to see how we were getting on.
Meru is a 3 year project being undertaken by our national body – Soroptimist International of Great Britain and Ireland (SIGBI) in partnership with Child.org.
It aims to develop the wellbeing and status of women within what is an extremely poor and malnourished area of Kenya by helping them to develop the ‘gardens’ around their houses, so that they can both feed their families better and have additional vegetables, fruit and herbs to sell to provide an income. Women and girls will be supported through education and mentoring with the aim of reducing poverty, improving health and increasing rates of employment.
The garden’s focus was the Meru woman and showcased the basics of the garden from soil and grit, the tools which are similar to those which each woman receives in the toolkit that is provided as part of the project, along with seeds and plants.
A water butt is central to the continued growth of plans throughout the year when water can be scarce. Each toolkit costs £300 and the money raised from donations given to us at the Flower Show will go towards the 10 toolkits which the Club are aiming to buy during the duration of the project.
President Pat said:
A big thank you to all those who came to see us at the Flower Show and who have supported us in any way. A particular thanks to my fellow Harrogate Soroptimists for making it happen.