A tot of happiness for every compassionate act: helping build household gardens (by Reinhold Mangundu)

Progress Namibia - A tot of happiness for every compassionate act: helping build household gardens (by Reinhold Mangundu)
22 June 2020

Some of you remember our work in Sonderwater, a community of about 150 people living in a small informal settlement on the east side of Shandumbala. Some of you even helped contribute to some food supplies a couple months ago when lockdown was first imposed. I have been helping Mee Erna (the mother hen of the community) and the beautiful people at Sonderwater set up small water-efficient home-based gardens.

We posted on social media for your support in this endeavour. In the past week, I have been receiving numerous calls from people all over. People are happily reaching out to donate a variety of things including vegetable seeds, seedlings, and even some old gardening tools. Thank you.

Now more than ever, resilience from a livelihood perspective, is pivotal to the wellbeing of those who remain most vulnerable to emerging problems. It is in this light that our project seeks to establish food gardens that will contribute to their food security. Being part of a community project that builds trust and unity is now more important than ever, and the benefits to all of us is indescribable.

We are entering a time of unimaginable shocks and uncertainty. How we respond and how we relate and support each other is what will make all the difference. In the current system, there is a knee jerk for many people to withdraw themselves and have a “me first” mentality, resulting in many people who were previously part of something being abandoned. The more this happens, the more social anxiety will develop into desperation, resentment, and finally, violence. If more of us have the perspective that we are all in this together, we will build greater resilience and be able to transition more peacefully. For those who start withdrawing and abandoning people because their fear is telling them to maintain a similar lifestyle as before as their first priority, even if it means withdrawing and not supporting and trading with those around them, they will also likely have no one around them giving them support when they need it most (and all of us will, at different times). Now is the time to come together and work together to build resilience and peace, based on mutual respect and love. It will be healing for everyone involved.

If you want to be part of a community learning new things, get your hands into some soil, help build this garden with some fellow Namibians, or want to contribute in any other way, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Reinhold Mangundu at +264 81 360 8286