Context of the project
Since 2019 and with the support of the CNCD, IDAY-Guinea, through the Réseau Émergence Guinée (RÉGUI) and Action pour le Développement (ADEV), implements a project of school gardens in the forest region of the Republic of Guinea located in the southeast of the country. As the 2019-2020 school year was disrupted by repeated strikes in primary education, the country’s political crisis and the Covid-19 pandemic, the project has been extended into the 2020-2021 school year to build on the achievements of the first phase.
This second phase of the project has allowed the reinforcement of activities in the 4 school gardens of the 4 different sites. The green clubs made up of 12 young students since the beginning of the project continue to energize the project within the schools. Highly nutritious crops (cassava, potato, taro and corn) have been planted, as well as cash crops such as cabbage and beans. The school garden continues to be used by teachers for educational purposes: teaching various school subjects, introducing environmental and climate issues, and discussing balanced nutrition and its impact on children’s schooling. Due to the size of the cultivated areas, the surplus crops were sold and this allowed the students to learn more about how to keep an account book and learn about simplified accounting. Those conducting the project (especially the principles) note an improvement in the quality of teaching thanks to a more practical pedagogy and a decrease in student absenteeism. The acceptability of education is reinforced in the local communities by the school’s orientation towards activities of community interest. Students also find this pedagogy fun and enjoyable. Schools adjacent to those implementing the school gardens are planning to experiment with the project in the coming years. Moreover, the promoting organizations, REGUI and ADEV, each one in its locality, have continued the advocacy activities with the communities, the school authorities, the administrative authorities, the local elected officials, the technical services of the State (Education and Agriculture) and the representatives of the concerned schools. The IDAY-Guinea coalition also made an advocacy during the Day of the African Child, on June 16, celebrated within the IDAY network. Given the health context, the advocacy focused on the need to maintain schooling for all Guinean children, including in times of pandemic.