The presenter of the BBC 2 show Gardeners World, Monty Don, is going to front a radio appeal to bring awareness to an Eden project which aims to boost the education of children around the world through gardening. The horticulturist and TV presenter will be introducing the ‘Gardens for Life’ programme on Sunday 18th September as part of the BBC Radio 4 appeal.
‘Gardens for Life’ is essentially an international network of gardening projects within schools and was created by the Eden Project with the sole aim of giving children the chance to share their experience and knowledge of growing things with each other.
Thousands of school pupils on India, Kenya, Gambia and the UK are taking part by creating school gardens which in turn help them to explore issues such as sustainable development, issues if food security and global citizenship. Training is initially given to teachers on how to set up a school garden and helps them in subjects such as water management, compost preparation and how to build a greenhouse.
Former students of ‘Gardens for Life; are also being encouraged to help other schools start their own gardens, and these schools cam then in turn give advice to their local communities in the best way to grow their own food.
As part of the radio appeal, Monty will be using the Munyaka secondary school in the Rift Valley in Kenya as an example. Children here grow kale, spinach, tomatoes, carrots, beans and maize, which helps to provide them with their own lunches and the surplus helps to reduce the schools fees.
As a result of the Gardens for Life programme, enrolment at the school has increased by more than 50 per cent since the garden was established.
Monty said: “Gardens for Life offers children an international perspective on their problems.
“In a British school a typical garden pest is greenfly; in Kenya it could be an elephant that flattens your crops.”
Rob Lowe, Gardens for Life Project Manager, said: “We’re really pleased to have Monty Don’s support for our Radio 4 Appeal. I can’t think of anyone better to make the case for Gardens for Life.
“We know that Gardens for Life makes a real difference, and thanks to this campaign we will be able to make an even bigger difference.”
The Gardens for Life Radio 4 Appeal will be aired on Sunday, September 18, at 7.55am and repeated that evening at 9.25pm and again on Thursday, September 22, at 3.25pm.
The Radio 4 Appeal highlights the work of a charity and appeals for donations to support its work.
Anyone wishing to donate to Gardens for Life can either call 0800 404 8144 or write a cheque to the Eden Project, marking the back with ‘Eden Project – Gardens for Life’, and send it to Freepost BBC Radio 4 Appeal.
All money raised from the Radio 4 appeal will go to support Gardens for Life in schools in Africa.