International Rescue Committee – Tukwila Namaste Community Garden in Washington State
These Bhutanese gardeners are either middle-aged or elderly women who have limited or no English.
International Rescue Committee
The Namaste Garden helps refugees set up a garden and grow produce for their own family or community. It allows those that are unable to work to have a meaningful activity and help support their families. It provides healthy, cheap, familiar produce for their families, food that in some instances is hard for them to buy at local grocery stores, and it’s a great opportunity to strengthen the connection to their new homes. It also encourages the families and individuals the IRC relocates to get out into the greater community and form lasting relationships with other community members, refugees and Tukwila natives alike.
Most of the IRC plots belong to Bhutanese community members. These Bhutanese gardeners are either middle-aged or elderly women who have limited or no English. They often walk to the garden, meet community people, interact with each other, share their produce, and work in their plots. These kinds of activities help them to reduce their stress level and reconnect to the land. As these gardeners spent most of their lives in farming, working with soils and have deep relationship with soil, they always seemed enjoy doing garden activities. Thus, Namaste Garden is an opportunity for healthy food production, community gathering and increasing physical and social health.
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