Despite many kilometres of land and sea between them, Kiwi and Kenyan mums can find common ground in gardening through ChildFund’s Gifts that Grow collection this Mother’s Day.


ChildFund is encouraging Kiwi mums to test out their green thumb in a fun family gardening activity while also lending a hand to a Kenyan mum in need with the gift of a Nutrition Training Voucher.

“As mums, we can all appreciate the challenges of getting good food into our toddlers and can sympathise with how much more difficult that would be in remote Kenya where nutritional knowledge is scarce and nutritious food even more scarce,” says ChildFund Programmes Director and mother Shona Jennings.


As part of the New Zealand supported Nutrition Training programme, making ‘gunny sack gardens’ is one of the many techniques Kenyan parents are learning to help address severe malnutrition in their young children.

“These gardens are simple to make with just a few low-cost materials, are very space and water efficient, and can produce bumper crops. They are a perfect solution for struggling Kenyan communities, but their benefits can be enjoyed by families in New Zealand too,” says Shona.


“Involving children in the joy of growing their own vegetables can also often inspire them to eat their greens.”


With the assistance of renowned landscape designer  Xanthe White, ChildFund has provided easy to follow instructions so Kiwi families can experience the satisfaction of wholesome home-grown vegies by making their own Kenyan-inspired gunny sack garden together.

“These gardens are a really handy option for anyone wanting to grow their own vegetables, especially for those with  small outdoor spaces or people who are renting and may not be able to dig up a garden bed on their property,” says Xanthe.


Full instructions - click to open pdf to view and print.

ChildFund hopes that by sharing some common ground in this fun activity, Kiwi mums will also consider giving a fellow mother in Kenya the same opportunity by purchasing a Nutrition Training voucher from ChildFund’s Gifts that Grow collection in honour of Mother’s Day.


The voucher gives a parent vital education in child development and nutrition and arms them with new skills and tools such as this highly effective gardening method. The Training Programme is a result of joint research carried out by New Zealand’s own Otago University Human Nutrition team.


ChildFund’s Gifts that Grow is an online catalogue of alternative gifts that provide sustainable futures for Mums and their children in developing countries. Other gardening-related gifts for varying budgets include packets of vegetable seeds, a compost pit, fruit trees and an irrigation system to name just a few.


Purchasers of ChildFund’s Gifts that Grow receive a special gift card explaining the gift and how it will benefit the recipient, and also get a ‘gift back’ via a full tax credit.


Order ChildFund Gifts That Grow online or call 0800 223 111

Spread the world

Share this story with your friends

More stories

View story archived for more