News from the school garden project in Benin
The project of school gardens of IDAY-Benin started at the end of the year 2018. It is jointly developed by several members of the coalition. It aims to contribute to the improvement of school attendance and results in Benin.
Since 2018, 15 school gardens have been created in Beninese schools. On the one hand, the vegetable garden provides food and plants to children and teachers: plants with high nutritional value and medicinal plants such as neem, chayo, lemongrass, centenarian, moringa and plants from traditional biomedical gardens are grown in these different school gardens. On the other hand, the garden is a learning space for the children: learning the cultivation methods of these plants and their uses, as well as developing transversal skills in biology, mathematics, geometry, language, etc.
The schools are also equipped with school canteens. The cooking equipment and the kitchen are ecological and economical: low energy ovens that run on charcoal. Thus, although the crops from the gardens are not enough to feed all the children every day, the production has allowed a significant increase in meals.
The young people also learn to have eco-responsible attitudes, notably by making a compost or natural pesticide, as well as by observing and respecting biodiversity.
Another important aspect of the project is the advocacy with the local authorities in charge of education for quality education. One of the objectives of this project is to draw the attention of the education authorities to the role that the school garden can play in the quality of education and the improvement of school results, so that the authorities replicate the model in other public schools.