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School playgrounds transformed into vegetable gardens

30-08-2017 02:30 PM | Lathika Saju | My Indian Dream

School playgrounds transformed into vegetable gardens | My Indian Dream

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Vegetable gardens to boost diets of hungry children in Syria

It is always children who are worst affected by the ravages of war. Children in Syria whose diets have been devastated by six years of war have something to look forward to – their school playgrounds are being transformed into vegetable gardens where they can learn to grow and then eat  - aubergines, lettuces, peppers, cabbages and cucumbers.

Vegetables constitute an important part of traditional Syrian cuisine. Their food includes hummus, beautiful and varied salads, stews made with green beans, okra or courgettes and tomatoes, stuffed cabbage leaves and artichoke hearts.

However, things have changed now due to many years of war and much of the population lives mainly on bread or food aid. It is unfortunate that nearly 70 percent of the population is living in extreme poverty.

Adam Yao, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization's (FAO) acting representative in Syria said that the crisis in Syria was having a devastating effect on the health and nutrition of an entire generation of children. It can have serious and long-lasting effects on their growth and future development.

Therefore, FAO is helping some 17 primary schools in both government and opposition-controlled areas to plant fruits and vegetables in  500 metre-square plots in war-torn areas including Aleppo, Hama, Homs, Idlib and the outskirts of Damascus.

The project is a big success as the primary schools, which began planting in May, have produced 12 tonnes of fruit and vegetables. Another 35 schools are expected to transform their playgrounds into gardens.

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