“We are lucky to have CREATE! in our lives. We have been given a great opportunity. Now, when we cook our lunch we can go to the garden site to get some vegetables for the meal. Before, if we wanted vegetables we had to buy them.”
This is what women from the Ouarkhokh Cooperative Gardening Group said over and over again when we met with them after they had finished their morning watering at the garden site.
What’s amazing is that the women told us this during a meeting that took place in the middle of a driving sandstorm on a day when temperatures reached 112 degrees. Even more amazing is that not one woman complained about the harsh conditions that are a daily part of their lives as they work in the gardens. Rather, they expressed only appreciation for the opportunity to grow and harvest their own vegetables.
The Ouarkhokh Cooperative Gardening Group consists of a total of 38 members, all of whom are women. The larger group is divided into four smaller groups, each of which maintains its own plot within the garden site at CREATE!’s Training and Demonstration Center. Each plot is neatly organized around a large water basin, making it easier for group members to access water for the plants.
During our recent visit to the site, cooperative members proudly showed us more than 120 pounds of tomatoes they had recently harvested and were in the process of selling.
When we expressed our admiration for the women’s hard work and dedication to raising vegetables in such a challenging environment, their response was this:
“We as women have come together here to work to improve our lives.”
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