Alumna launches campaign to support sustainable food project in Kenya
Jasmine Whaley '13 is seeking to raise $30,000 to expand the Rita Rose Garden in Kisumu, Kenya, a sustainable community garden led by 88 women entrepreneurs that works to feed and support more than 900 people.
Jasmine Whaley '13 believes in the power of human potential.
"I believe that every person is capable of ensuring their own success when they have access to the proper resources," she says.
That's why the political science and international studies major will be traveling to Kisumu, Kenya, in January to work at the Rita Rose Garden through Mama Hope, a nonprofit that works in close partnership with local African organizations to connect them with the resources required to transform their own communities.
The three-acre sustainable community garden in Kisumu provides income stability, food security and opportunities for educational enrichment for 88 women, their families and more than 900 people in their communities. The project features a greenhouse, three fishponds, 20 beehives and four acres of vegetable gardens, all of which generate income for the community.
As part of her work, Whaley is raising $30,000, with a goal of reaching $5,000 during the month of November.
"The women of Kisumu have managed and maintained the garden for the past four years and now they want to grow their businesses," Whaley says, adding that the funds she is raising will help fulfill their vision to be financially independent by paying for an expansion of the garden's drip irrigation technology into their homes to ensure year-round food supply.
She says her mission is to bring awareness of her work in Kenya to her community in North Carolina and to spread understanding and compassion through the sustainable food project. She hopes her work in Kisumu will make a difference in the lives of the women in that community.
"I am going to help support the phenomenal group of women that manage the Rita Rose Garden," she says, "and through this work, I will be empowering women to take their futures into their own hands.
"Only when we see the world though hope and potential can we begin to effect lasting change. It's that simple."
As an undergraduated student at Elon, Whaley, who also minored in religious studies and Middle Eastern studies, served as an admissions' diveristy ambassador and a SMART mentor. She also founded Better Together, an interfaith organization that aims to promote mutual understanding and respect for people of diverse backgrounds through community service and social justice initiatives.