By Jeff Lee
At the beginning of 2021, CBF Macedonia began a partnership with another organization.
This partnership has the goal to create a community garden for a local community. We applied for a community impact grant from the British Embassy in the Republic of North Macedonia. We received 6,000 euros to establish the community garden and engage local members of the community to participate in the project.
In January, we secured the purchase of a used greenhouse to install at our location. The location is next to a local kindergarten that was established several years ago to meet the educational needs in the community. The garden will provide fresh fruits and vegetables for the families of the kids at the kindergarten. We began the construction in February. The greenhouse is very large and will provide significant amounts of produce for the community.
The partnership includes working with other NGOs. The other NGO works with the Roma community in Macedonia. the kindergarten is located in the Roma community in Skopje. Four of the local young men continue to participate in the in the construction and management of the garden. They continue to participate in the education process and learn the skills and equipment needed to continue the project into the future.
The greenhouse was constructed as an educational tool. There are several techniques utilized in the greenhouse, including a hydroponics system from 1300 plants. Hydroponics systems provide a process to maximize production while utilizing limited space.
As we celebrate Earth-day we should remember that food security is an environmental issues that must be addressed in our time and in the future to be sustainable. Sustainability is allowing the current generation to meet their needs while also ensuring that future generations will be able to meet their own needs.
Community gardens are wonderful tools to positively impact the environment. They provide food security for vulnerable communities and they use less resources to produce the food for consumption. Locally grown food is better for the environment. This partnership in North Macedonia is great example of sustainability and a positive impact in vulnerable communities. We have the opportunity to continue to meet the needs of the people around us and protect the environment.
The environment is local and global and we need to address the local and global concerns to achieve sustainability. The Earth belongs to all. We are interconnected and interdependent on each other. Our concern must be for our neighbors, all of them.
Jeff Lee is a CBF field personnel serving alongside his wife, Alicia, in Skopje, Macedonia. Learn more about and support their ministry at www.cbf.net/lee.