It’s a sunny, humid day in Haiti. Jesus Name Children’s Home sits amidst winding, bumpy roads, marked by a red gate. Two honks of the horn and the guard slides open the door allowing entrance.
The boys’ rooms and the girls’ rooms reside in two separate buildings with a kitchen and eating area in the middle. A small, lush garden is tucked around the corner between the block wall and grey steps. Concrete blocks stacked two-high, form a rectangle for plants to grow. Tall plants reach high into the air, their greenery a splash of color in the corner.
The small garden plot is the work of 14-year old Wickenson. Last year, he had the idea to use seeds from foods to replant fruits and vegetables.
“Before I came to live here, I would watch some of my family members garden,” Wickenson shared recently. He spoke soft Creole across the picnic table when asked about his garden.
The now flourishing garden is home to papaya, strawberries, passion fruit, kenép (a Haitian fruit,) beans, and okra. Wickenson began the planting and harvesting by himself, but now receives help from Calerbe and Duckens, two other boys living at Jesus Name Children’s Home.
“How do you feel when you see your garden growing and are able to enjoy the foods you’ve planted?”
A small smile played on his face as he answered. “I feel good. I feel proud to help provide.”