“Germinating Ties” was a free educational project designed for foster home children and limited-income elders living at caring homes in Mexico City. It bloomed out of the idea to help those in need to take their life in their hands, connecting them with empathy and inner strength through service or caring for others.
We coordinated the donation and installation of two ‘urban orchards’ within the premises of (two) retirement/elder homes in Mexico City. In 2017 we placed our first orchard at the elder day-care home “Casa de la Divina Providencia, I.A.P.” and in 2018 we placed the second one, the first greenhouse, at the all-day elder home “Casa Betti I.A.P.”. In 2019 we updated the first orchard into a greenhouse too. Both have two ‘sowing tables’ that are wheelchair-accesible in addition to the pair with regular-height. They were both kindly donated by Andrew Kluger, President of BookBankUSA.
One day a week, the elders (that either live or spend their day there), together with OLAKAC volunteers and the guidance of a professional agriculturist, watered, fertilized, protected, sowed and harvested chemical-free vegetables that they ate. In addition, every 15 days a group of foster home children visited them, and together they took workshops to learn about caring for the orchard, the environment, and tools for their physical, mental and emotional health. Throughout several encounters, kids and elders formed a familiar friendship between them, positive caring links, thus helping each other. Around the orchard care and the workshops, both groups learned how to manage an urban veggie garden and the impact that it has on their lives. In addition, they cared for and recognized each other, reinforcing their sense of usefulness and social value, proving once more that unity and social work are a key bond for the existence of fulfilled beings.