At NPH DR, older boys spend time on weekends learning the ins-and-outs of growing food for their family. June 3, 2018 - Dominican Republic
Kerby* and Leobardo* working in the garden with other boys from NPHDR.
Kerby* and Leobardo* are 15-year-old boys with bright smiles. They like to play basketball with friends. Leobardo is an excellent baseball player, and both boys are very funny and happy. They both are somewhat new to NPH, Leobardo has been in the NPH family for a little over two years and Kerby for one and a half. However, they both seem to be thriving.
On Saturdays – a day at NPH where all children spend time working at duties to help contribute to the home’s running – Kerby and Leobardo are some of the younger boys that work in the garden. Kerby brings previous experience from before he joined NPH, which has contributed to his enjoyment of working in the garden.
The work in the garden varies from season to season, as well as from week to week. Often times, the boys working in the garden use machetes, while supervised, to trim the weeds and pick fruit off of the trees. They are also responsible for raking and working the dirt. For the smaller plants, the boys have learned how to pick the weeds out by hand. This can be hard work but they are benefiting from it. Kerby says, “I’ve learned how to work the land and all the hard work that goes into planting and growing food.” Leobardo adds, “I’ve learned how long it takes to grow food and how to know when it is time to pick fruit.”
During their time in the garden, they enjoy watching and working with the pigs, goats, and ducks that can be found in the NPH DR home, but their favorite part is eating mangos fresh off the trees. That is one of the great benefits the garden brings to the children of NPH DR. It provides the home with fresh organic fruits and vegetables that the children love. When asked what their favorite food grown in the garden was, the list went on and on. Kerby listed loquat, papaya, banana, tangerines, avocado, and, of course, mangos.
Although working to cultivate the land in the garden is not always their favorite activity, they understand the importance. Kerby said, “it’s important to know where your food comes from because you should know how to grow you own food, and because the food grown in the garden is healthy and good for us.”
At the NPH DR home, along with working in the garden, the children take classes on a variety of ecological topics. This helps to provide the children with a better understanding of the importance of respecting your environment and growing food organically. And the best part? The children at NPH DR are excited about all of the food and are able to enjoy the fruits of their labor.
*Names changed for privacy purposes.
Gabbie Risolvato Communications Officer Assisant
You may be only one person in the world, but you may be all the world to one child.
—Fr. William Wasson