A tour of projects with the US Embassy
This week we were delighted to host Lovette Singleton from the US Embassy based in Harare. Lovette is the Grants Coordinator with the Embassy and came on a site visit for the grant we secured last year to develop a youth empowerment garden at Hotsprings Secondary School. Her visit was to monitor the progress we’ve made so far.
The day began at 9am. Before heading off to see the project, we showed Lovette around the PORET Learning Centre here in Chaseyama. Participants from the Permaculture Design Course, currently underway at the Centre, were on hand to explain what they were learning and how they intend to implement this after the course.
Then it was on to Hotsprings, where we introduced Lovette to the teachers, school development committee, councilor (representative) and learners involved with the project at the school. During the meeting, students demonstrated how they are developing their understanding of agroecology, with some saying they are keen to practice agriculture after school. Lovette encouraged them to take their studies seriously, saying how important a career in agriculture is.
After the meeting, we all visited the garden to see the activities which have been done so far, including swale and dam construction, tree planting, pot filling, and preparation of vegetable beds. Despite the difficulties put in our way by Covid-19, the garden is progressing well.
Then from Hotsprings, we had the chance to show Lovette the Zvokuitirwa Nursery Garden before she drove back to Mutare. Here we have an example of a more established garden that PORET has been supporting over the last two years. The garden committee was able to show how a relatively small amount of financial support can lead to success when the community is behind it.
Talking about the day spent with PORET, Lovette said she had a fantastic time. “I’m very impressed with all PORET is doing with permaculture in and around the region, across age and gender groups.”
She will be paying another visit in September when the grant comes to the end. We’ll be happy to host her again.
At the Learning Centre, Lovette (in red on the right) was welcomed by 28 youths taking part in the Permaculture Design Course.
Mercy Piti and Julious Piti (PORET Director) show Lovette and Stewart the kindergarten at the Centre.
21 Hotsprings Secondary students, the beneficiaries of the project, pose with Lovette, with Grace (PORET's Learning Secretary) and the School Development Committee.