Urban Garden Network
To diversify income sources and improve social capital and peaceful coexistence.
Comuna 8, Medellín, Colombia
THE COMUNA 8 IS HOME TO OVER 135,000 PEOPLE WHO FACE DAILY CHALLENGES TO FIND FORMALIZED WORK AND BREAK THE CYCLE OF POVERTY
THE COMUNA 8 IS HOME TO 11% OF THE DISPLACED POPULATION OF MEDELLIN WITH 98% OF THE POPULATION EARNING ON, OR BELOW, THE MINIMUM WAGE
E2E IS DEVELOPING A NETWORK OF URBAN GARDENS TO PROVIDE ADDITIONAL INCOME AND IMPROVE PEACEFUL COEXISTENCE
Esmeralda, a young inhabitant of Alto Bonito and Villa Turbay, is one of the many beneficiaries of the gardens.
The fundamental role of E2E is to articulate the efforts of different interest groups, connecting educators, gardeners, colleges and community leaders with markets and social investors who want to be part of realizing true change in our communities.
Being coherent with the background, current context, and government programs in Comuna 8, the E2E Foundation initiative builds on the relationships and plans already established between different interest groups to develop a network of urban gardens that serve as a tool to improve peaceful coexistence, as well as the sustainability of the city.
Baltazar, displaced from Municipio de Cocorná, cultivated his own farma nd now wants to create a garden which will help to increase his income to finish constructing his house.
This initiative establishes two objectives that contribute to sustainability:
Through the urban garden network, the beneficiaries of the project can increase and diversify their sources of income, increasing resilience to price variation of basic products, or use the products for personal consumption.
By working with local leaders and existing social networks E2E will create a positive context around the urban gardens and execute activities that improve social capital and peaceful coexistence, enabling the community to address different issues that affect their neighborhoods.
To achieve project continuity and sustainability, the E2E Foundation communicates the efforts of external institutions to empower the community by early inclusion in project design, implementation and follow-up.
The chef is back
One of the main project partners is “The Chef is Back,” a gastronomic company that uses organic products for the production and preparation of food, seeking to contribute positively to vulnerable communities. Its role in the project, apart from guaranteeing the purchase of the products grown in the gardens at a fair and competitive price, is to support the adaptation of the gardens and to accompany community activities.
Interest groups in La Comuna 8
Understanding that there are many interest groups in La Comuna 8, the following are the most relevant to the execution of the project:
- “Fundación luchando por el futuro” is the operator in the field, made up of local leaders in charge of contact with beneficiaries and interest groups of in comuna 8.
- “Cerro de los Valores” is made up of community leaders and is in charge of providing inputs, training and assistance, also providing space for community activities.
- The Botanical Garden is a non-profit foundation with experience in education and training in urban gardens.
- The Colegio Vida para Todos, with 600+ square meters available for orchards and with more than 5,000 students. This school benefits many young people and their families.
JAC’s Community Action Boards, where community leaders congregate to pass on their experiences.
The urban and semi-urban family farms of comuna 8, which are pre-established family gardens of households who have registered and require support of the program. The gardens are run by blocks of neighbors who plant in external gardens and communal areas.
The established urban orchards of other comunas in Medellín with a high level of sustainability can contribute with their experience and knowledge to those of comuna 8.