During spring 2020, the first edition of the “Agrobiodiversity, School Gardens and Healthy Diets: Promoting Biodiversity, Food and Sustainable Nutrition” book was published online.
The book which gathers contributions from around the world (Lebanon, Australia, Vietnam, Hawaii, Philippines, India, Nepal, Morocco, etc.) will be available for free download and dissemination in December 2020.
The book assesses the role of biodiversity in promoting and enhancing diversified and healthy diets among schools children; it also identifies the encountered challenges and the key criteria for success. The seventh case-study more particularly, highlights the role of learning gardens in enhancing the diet of Syrian children and youth in Lebanon. Author Nina Lauridsen, talks about the importance of learning gardens established in Lebanon by Danish NGO Zaher-Grow to learn in partnership with local NGOs like the Food Heritage Foundation, Juzurna Buzurna and SOILS Permaculture Lebanon. Through these gardens, stigmatized children and youth not only have their capacity built on sustainable gardening (including organic agriculture and permaculture concepts), but also find a place to recreate and produce their own food. On another hand, this kind of project ensures the transmittance of knowledge and farming to young generations and prevents its loss.
Late 2019, FHF together with its partners, and with support from CISU – Civil Society in Development, designed and implemented new learning gardens in Akkar and Bekaa. Although the October revolution followed by the Covid-19 pandemic have impaired the activities under the project “Learning Gardens as a Tool for Development in Lebanon”, the gardens are still being maintained by the partners hoping that the gardens will receive the children soon again.