Kids in Need of Direction (KIND) recently expanded its Plant What You Eat Plant What You Eat programme with the help of bmobile. Given the economic downturn and public health measures brought on by covid19, the programme expanded to over 16 communities across the country, from La Fillette and Blanchisseuse to Beetham Gardens as well as Cascade/St Ann's.
A media release said KIND's overall aim was to help meet the material needs of children and families in the East Port of Spain/Laventille area to enrich and develop these communities. Its geographic scope and overall intentions have since grown.
Plant What You Eat initiative provides soil, seeds, and education to create home gardens in small spaces, container gardens, and techniques in composting, among numerous other touchpoints. Overall, it is designed to build self-efficiency in communities and resiliency in low-income households.
Founder of KIND Karina Jardine-Scott said: "It is a very simple way to help people learn how to plant what they consume, and it encourages recycling and healthier lifestyles too. We literally teach participants how to sprout carrots or how to germinate seeds from a tomato plant instead of throwing these things out. We teach composting in a small square area and container gardening for those without much room which can then become a rich and fertile corner in their yards or gardens to grow food items."
This phase of the programme will benefit close to 500 people in 80 families. The second will aim to develop kitchen gardens with another 80-100 families in July before moving into five schools.
"We are hoping to develop our own seed and seedling nursery in the near future, but have partnered with some organisations and the Ministry of Agriculture as well as United Way to expand this programme to as many persons and families as we can," said Jardine-Scott.
Bmobile has also been a supporter of the work of KIND on the communications front the release said.
Gerard Cooper, general manager, shared services at TSTT, reiterated the company's commitments to the country's overall development, even in areas that may not seem to correlate to the company's day-to-day activities directly.
"KIND has been hard at work in communities that are bearing the brunt of the fallout from this pandemic and this Plant What You Eat initiative is a timely one that will help to keep healthy food on the table, keep families engaged in productive and positive shared activities and also serve to help keep communities together too," he added.
"I would also like to highlight that there are many ways for citizens to get involved either in their own way or through KIND. You can sponsor the development of a child from as little as $100 per month as an individual or $800 as a corporate sponsor or you can donate seeds and seedlings to this programme too. Our message to our customers is to join us in working towards a brighter future, post-pandemic."
In 2020, KIND adapted to the needs of society and collected and delivered over 7000 hampers, including food supplies, stationery and clothing, which assisted over 27,000 people at the height of the 2020 quarantine period in TT. They have also been successful in using the data collected at this time to streamline their programme offerings based on feedback from participants. One such programme entails developing academic pursuits such as literacy only after children and their parents have also completed modules in meditation, etiquette, leadership and family values, among others.
The Plant What You Eat Initiative welcomes contributions of material and resources. For further info visit kindkid.org.