We have heard more encouraging updates from our Gunawirra project- this time from Gunnedah, known as the “koala capital”. It is a rural town in north of NSW, with a population of approximately 10,000. The town houses an extensive farming and mining community.
Gunnedah pre-school recently received a donation from the Happy Herb Company for developing a veggie garden. More than half of the children enrolled in the school are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islanders from low income families.
This is what the school administration shared with us.
“The garden project has been a great success in our preschool. We started off planting vegetables. For some children this was the first opportunity they had to see and understand how veggies are grown. The spinach experienced was great. The children grew spinach and when it was time to eat it, they hated the taste but everyone finished everything on their plate, and some even asked for seconds and just because they grew it. We still smile and talk about that experience today! Recently we have been using the garden to help the children learn about the seasons in the year. We learn about the seasons, what can grow in what season and about the cycle of life.
Recently we had to take out some of the vegetables that died. While we were digging we found a nest of beetles. The children (and the staff) were very excited and it promoted us to explore and study about beetles! Using and being active in the garden encourages respect for animals, and the environment and shows us how important the land is!
The vegetable garden is a great asset to our preschool. We link it to the nutrition program and it sets a great example of interest driven learning.
Gunnedah preschool has a special programme called breakfast club and fruit and vegie platters for morning tea. We are very grateful for this programme. Many kids come to the school hungry. We provide them with a healthy nutritional breakfast and fruit for morning tea. It helps them concentrate in classes and play happily.
They can only actively learn and play if their basic needs are met and for some of the children that come to our school, need help with the basic needs. We are so lucky to have your support, without it the children would not be able to get the most out of school. You can imagine that it would be impossible to concentrate, to play and to imagine when you are so hungry!”
A big thankyou from all of us at OHO to Happy Herbs and the Gunawirra team for yet another wonderful outcome for indigenous health.