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    Growing Nutritious Foods with the Lions

    Day 179

    An Apple A Day

    Alex Niyonzima is an earnest guy.

    He’s the coach of the Lions Athletics Club in Nakivale Refugee Settlement. He’s utterly dedicated to his runners, their health and their growth as individuals. His commitment to his runners is where his idea got started.

    “I’ve been keeping track and I think I’ve noticed something,” he explains as he shows us a piece of paper with dates and his runners’ names listed. “These members, they’ve been sick a lot over the last six months. And I think it’s because of their diet. They don’t eat nutritious vegetables and fruits, and they don’t have enough to eat.”

    So, Alex told us his idea to plant a garden for the Lions Club, where the team would grow their own vegetables and fruits. He and the Lions ran in the World Refugee Day 5k in support of their idea. And – fast forward – a half dozen generous individuals from around the world donated to make the Lions’ dream a reality.

    The only problem was the team hadn’t raised vegetables and they didn’t have a space to do it. That’s when Wilson Woodrow stepped in. He runs the greenhouse and women’s empowerment project in Nakivale. Wilson made a list of what was needed: carrot seeds, kale/sukumawiki seeds, spinach, eggplant seeds, nakati, green pepper, pineapple suckers, orange seedlings, watermelon, Papaya, cabbage, watering cans and enough hoes for the whole team to be working at once.

    Woodrow also provided the team a plot of land to use near the greenhouse. And then he did one better. “Meet me tomorrow at 9am at the greenhouse and bring all your runners,” instructed Woodrow. “You guys will have the full horticultural training – and we start tomorrow.”

    So, today, on Day 179, the Lions are doing their first planting. And Alex couldn’t be more thrilled. “I think this will really make a difference for our athletes. They’ll be healthier and they’ll be able to put extra effort into their training, too,” said Alex. “Please tell all the donors that we appreciate them, we’re proud of them, and glad, too.”

    For making the Lions’ dream a reality, a special thanks to SweatShop Health Club, Clif Bar, Bella Wordsworth, Kathleen Flatten, David & Joanne Atwell and Christopher Smitelli.

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    Changemakers 365

    by Alight


    The world’s tough problems can seem insurmountable. So at Alight, while we tackle those big problems we also do what’s doable. Right then. And that’s what Changemakers 365 is all about. Learn more!


    Changemakers 365 members give either $30 per month or a one-time gift of $365 (it’s free for anyone who has ever lived in a refugee camp). Join us!

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