Red Cross launches Syrian gardening project
Humanitarian aid charity the British Red Cross is helping one Syrian village attempt a vestige of normality by growing its own food. The Garden Vegetable Project is a pilot scheme helping provide fresh vegetables for refugees returning to Nahlaya, a village in north west Syria, 60 miles from Aleppo.
The plot is large enough to support 100 families, and the Red Cross will provide highquality seeds for vegetables, including cucumber, courgette, beans, okra, pumpkin, radish and the herbs parsley, mint and thyme, all crops that can be quickly planted in time for an autumn harvest. As the land has been neglected and lacks nutrients, the Red cross will also supply fertiliser and additional minerals.
Although families will tend and water their crops, volunteers from the independent humanitarian group, the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, will arrange bowser trucks to supplement water in the driest seasons. One lady, Amira, returning to the village with her husband and four children, found their house destroyed and land no longer usable. “I’m so glad with my return to agriculture,” she told the Red Cross’ Penny Sims. “Now I can depend on productive land to fulfil our needs, and it’s possible we can sell some of the excess.” ● Visit: www.redcross.org. uk/syria and http://blogs. redcross.org.uk.
Refugees will be able to grow their own food crops