Although malnutrition is rampant and food expensive, the average Granadino usually doesn’t think of turning their unused yard into a garden and thus a source of food. With almost two acres of open space at theBridge, we are hoping to reverse the perception that gardening is just not possible in the barrios. Undertaken as a pilot project by the AIM 2009/2010 Novas team, we have constructed raised garden beds and begun raising vegetables using organic gardening principles. In addition we have planted and are maintaining multiple fruit trees.
It is our hope to transfer this concept and thereby introduce barrio families to small-scale horticulture and provide training on how they can reduce family food expenses, with the added benefit of increasing their intake of fruits and vegetables. As part of the program we have begun composting and worm “ranching” initiatives, to help provide healthy soil for gardeners. We have welcomed one of our beloved staff members and a guest horticulturalist to help us expand this project within the barrio through a program called Community Health Evangelism, or CHE (chay).
CHE: Community Health Evangelism
CHE (Community Health Evangelism) is a ministry that integrates evangelism and discipleship with community health and development. The ultimate goal of CHE is life change through the power of Christ, which is accomplished through community integration of evangelism and addressing health issues – both physical and spiritual.
The core values of CHE are the following:
Integration and Wholism: CHE recognizes there is a relationship between the emotional, spiritual, physical, and social parts of a person. CHE seeks the complete development of the person and their community.
Commitment to the Poor and Marginalized: It is a goal of CHE to follow Christ’s example and minister to the poor. It is our desire to release them from brokenness and despair.
Long Term Solutions: We desire to break the poverty cycle. This is possible if we teach people how to do for themselves. It is the idea of relief vs. development and disease prevention vs. cure.
Local Ownership and Initiative: CHE desires for the community to own their own program. Through trainings and consultation, CHE takes time to teach the community how to assess their needs, identify local resources, and organize for action.
Participatory Learning: CHE believes people need to be active participants in their own development. People learn by doing, and therefore modeling is essential. CHE uses methods for learning that involve a process of reflection and action.
Multiplication and Movements: CHE is not only about projects, but about movements. The program trains people to train others. It encourages the use of local resources and technologies so that information may be easily passed from person to person. CHE is not an isolated program: it desires collaboration with community organizations, relief and development agencies, religious organizations, and governments in order to obtain the best result for the community.
Christian Servant Leadership: Jesus is the model for CHE. CHE desires to model servant leadership and to train its leaders to serve the needs of the people.
Contextualization: CHE does not have hard and fast rules or methods. These can be modified to the needs of the community.