Cleta’s Garden of Dreams

Unemployed, with children to care for, Cleta believed that Transform could change her life. From the first lesson, she saw the benefits that the useful and practical lessons brought to her family.

Soon after the Transform program began,  Cleta was in a motorcycle accident and badly injured her foot. Despite her pain, she still attended lessons.

Before Transform, Cleta gambled money and ran into debt with local loan sharks. By the time the program ended, Cleta had stopped gambling and invested her money in her garden, to feed her family and sell her vegetables.

With the Transform skills learned using medicinal herbs, Cleta was able to help treat her neighbors’ son who was suffering from a bad cough. Shortly after applying herbs, the boy’s cough disappeared. At home, Cleta takes greater care in her personal and home hygiene and washes her hands more frequently. Cleta has recognized the importance of purifying water in order to avoid diarrhea. She either boils the water first or buys bottled water if she has the money. Additionally, she has improved her diet. Her newly-grown garden allows her to eat more vegetables.

Cleta’s garden has been such a success that she recently expanded her patch into a vacant lot. There she harvests fruits and more vegetables to sell to her community. Not only is there enough money to purchase food for her family, but medicine for ailing relatives as well. Cleta plans to keep her savings in the bank in case of emergencies.

Cleta is amazed with how her personality and financial circumstances have changed and is excited to see what the future will hold.

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By Clement Francony and Ginny Sage, ICM Interns

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