Nurse Helps Young Garden Backyard
The community nurse for Wakanisila in Nasinu is doing more than just tending to the sick.
Maria Latianara has taken it upon herself to assist 22 youths within the community who have been laid off from work or face financial constraints because of COVID-19.
Since the distribution of seeds by the Ministry of Agriculture, Ms Latianara has established her backyard garden, which she now uses to help those in her community.
“I brought a variety of vegetable seeds and we started to plant them in plots that we had prepared. When it was ready for transplant, I had informed those living in the community to prepare their plots in their various backyards,” she said.
“I had to do this to develop the urge for backyard gardening in some of them.”
She said assistance for seeds were available in the past, but people were uninterested. Now she utilises her knowledge from a workshop by the Ministry of Health to help those in her community.
“After they had transplanted, I gathered them and taught them various other planting methods that they could also practice,” Ms Latianara said.
“This includes the use of pallets, pipes, bottles and tyres to plant. While doing this, I noticed the positive responses from the youths and I was overwhelmed with their responses.
“Now I go around visiting their various families and I am happy to see that they have grown to love backyard gardening.”
She said youths had also begun selling their produce at the new Laqere Market.
“The response has been amazing, nearly all families here in Wakanisila have a backyard garden that they tend to everyday.
“I have reminded the youths not to solely depend on money for survival but to explore other means that are available to feed their families and ensure food security among the community.”
Eight year-old Joshua Matainaniu tends to his backyard garden at Wakanisila, Kalabu, on June 21, 2020.
Maria Latianara shows a part of her innovative backyard gardening methods at her home in Wakanisila, Kalabu, on June 21, 2020.