Cultivating Hope

Jun 28, 2016

Steph Duff

Ravi’s small arms wrap tightly around the two-liter, plastic bottle as he carefully walks across campus toward the flowers. He steps carefully, delicately almost, so as not to let a drop of water drip on the dusty ground. He walks toward Adam’s house first, and then he waters the circular planters with colorful flowers in front of the home where he lives and sleeps with 8 “house brothers.”

Ravi and a few of his friends on the India Hope Campus decided to plant flowers by Adam’s house, and in front of their own, after spending a day at Active Farm in Hyderabad, India. The desire to plant something, cultivate it, and watch it grow really began to flourish after the children learned about farming, animals, rice planting, and how to make organic pesticides on their trip to this urban oasis.

Following the field trip, Back2Back staff knew it would be a rewarding experience for the children and caregivers to be involved in planting and tending to a garden of their very own. After their experience in September of 2015 at the farm, the children helped three different visiting mission teams construct a garden on their campus.

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They have been able to plant tomatoes, spinach, eggplant, chilis, and green beans; they are supplementing the vegetables purchased at market with what is being grown on campus.

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Ultimately, staff would like to see at least three more gardens constructed and cared for on campus to increase learning and responsibility opportunities for the children.

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“It’s always fun to look out my window in the mornings and see Ravi, or one of the other children, lugging water across the campus to help care for what they’ve planted. The children are excited to see growth in their own backyard,” shares Adam.

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From watching to implementing, from learning to preparing, from farm to table, the children of the India Hope Campus are learning the rewards of seeing a vision through.

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Steph Duff is a writer, daughter, sister, and really loud laugher. By day she lends her voice on behalf of orphaned and vulnerable children with Back2Back Ministries. By night she is readily found with her nose in a book and spending time with her dachshund, Addy. At all hours, she can be found consuming copious amounts of coffee. She feels most herself in the heat of India and prefers her mugs big, her books long, and her words intentional.

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