Ain Cheggag Garden of Youth
A community Dar Chebab, or Youth Center, is thriving in the area of Ain Cheggag, thanks to the support of a committee of teachers, networkers, and role models. In 2014, their goal is to implement a year-long curriculum, called "Explorer's Club", to teach students about world geography, culture, and biodiversity. As part of the biodiversity unit, the group will be building a community garden located on community grounds donated by the Ministry of Youth and Sports.
After the garden comes to harvest, the flowers will be sold at a Mother's Day fundraiser, the vegetables at a local market, and excess seeds will be collected for the following year's germination. All money raised will go to paying the annual Dar Chebab registration fees for children unable to afford the costs, as well as to replenish supplies within the nearby school.
The garden has been set up with a lot of involvement from the youth and community members. From lemon mint, sunflowers, squash, onions, peppers, basil and tomatoes, the youth have been busy gardening, watering, and maintaining the garden. The students were provided with a seed log, planting calendar, and a rotating chore chart to help keep track of who was in charge of specific tasks. A fence has been built around the garden to protect against animals and vandalism. At the end of the harvest, the youth center was able to locally raise 800 Moroccan Dirhams, which will go towards supplies and registration fees for children unable to pay the cost.
“We don’t have to worry about students not coming because of money now. This gave the girls something good to do after school and that’s important. When I was their age I didn’t have that.” – Hayat, Project Leader
“We learned many new things about flowers and vegetables that I will never forget.” – Lachen, 11, Project Participant
“I planted Lemon Mint and watered it every day and now it is really big!” – Salma, 12, Project Participant