Nurse Helps Young Gar­den Back­yard

Fiji Sun - - AMAZING - INOKE RABONU Edited by Ivamere Nataro Feed­back: inoke.rabonu@fi­jisun.com.fj

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.”

Photo: Kel­era So­vasiga

Eight year-old Joshua Mataina­niu tends to his back­yard gar­den at Wakanisila, Kal­abu, on June 21, 2020.

Photo: Kel­era So­vasiga

Maria La­tia­nara shows a part of her in­no­va­tive back­yard gar­den­ing meth­ods at her home in Wakanisila, Kal­abu, on June 21, 2020.

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