The children race and giggle outdoors, and come inside for a meal. They have every reason to truly give thanks for what they have set before them. Normal children in every way. They run, they play, they study, and sing and laugh. Life was not so happy for most of these children, but now they have a chance for a good life ahead of them. Many children in Honduras cannot say this.
You have an opportunity to be a partner in sharing Aquaponics! Worldwide Heart To Heart Children’s Village (WWH2HCV) was built in Honduras in response to the need for people to reach out to the many orphaned children as a result of Hurricane Mitch in 1998. By 2003 Worldwide Heart To Heart Children’s Village opened its doors in Tegucigalpita, Honduras. Today there are 88 children in their care, from babies up through teenagers, living at the 8 acre village. Due to the economic downturn donations that had been coming in to support this orphanage have declined. Over a year ago Mary Frenter, President of WWH2H had mentioned to me the need for them to become food independent. That is when I (‘Converse’, to all of you on the Aquaponic Gardening Community forum) introduced Mary to Aquaponics. After a year of conference calls, e-mail, Skype and meetings, planning, the 72’X22’ greenhouse and Aquaponics facility was put in place April – May 2013. There is still some fine-tuning to be done. The end of August/beginning of Sept. I will be travelling to Honduras to get the system operating as intended, so it can operate at full production capacity. We still have a few needs for this system, and I hope that by reaching out to the Aquaponic community we can pull together to help WWH2HCV meet their goal of growing the majority of their own food. In order to make the most of the square footage in the greenhouse, we need to install a vertical growing system. Bright AgroTech is partnering with WWH2HCVand is offering their ZipGrow Towers at a discount. We would like to install as many as possible, with a goal of 15 – 20 ZipGrow Towers. This will be in addition to the already installed media bed AP system, to be able to bring the greenhouse food production capacity up to needed levels.
It is my hope that some of you would be willing to make a tax deductible donation to Worldwide Heart To Heart Children’s Village. When you make an online donation you can earmark the donation to go to the AP project ZipGrow Towers. If you wish to mail a donation you can do that too, by sending it to the USA Headquarters: WWH2HCV, P.O. Box 372, Carson, WA. 98610 (phone 509-427-8585). It is our intention to recognize those who partner with us on this project through donations. We will also keep people informed as to what is going on in with the AP system at H2H.
The Aquaponics system currently has a 4’X 52’ fish raceway and 24 IBC tote media beds (more planned for). There are tilapia fingerlings in the raceway that will be raised on redworms, BSFL and vegetation, in order to keep the system as self-supporting as possible. The greenhouse is fed by fantastic well water. The pumps and fans are both able to run on electricity and also solar, which will be the main power source after August. You can go to Worldwide Heart To Hearts’ Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/WWH2H ) to see the system as it was being installed. The children are excited about the project. You can see the enthusiasm of even the youngest as they learned to plant seeds. Timing for your donation is important. We need to get the Zipgrow Towers on to the shipping container that will be headed to Honduras , leaving the USA on July 12th. The ZipGrow Towers need to be shipped from Bright AgroTech in Wyoming to Oregon in time to load on to the container. If you wish to donate to help with the ZipGrow Towers, please keep this timeframe in mind.
The AP system is more than a way to feed the children. It will be a source of education and community outreach. Heart To Heart opened its own English Immersion School in response to the very poor education system available locally. Staff at H2H realize that by feeding the children they will be giving them a “today”, but through a good education they will also be giving these children ‘a tomorrow’. The school is open to all the children living at H2H and also to any children in the local community who wish to attend. Currently enrollment is over 200 students, and the school has plans to expand to meet the need. The AP system will be used at a living laboratory for the students giving opportunity for teaching biology, chemistry, math, etc., and of course all the components of Aquaponics, in a hands-on setting. Sylvia Bernstein has offered the Aquaponics Source available curriculum at a discount to WWH2H school too (a HUGE Thank you!).The AP system will give students valuable lifelong skills. There are also plans to use the AP system and greenhouse as a place of higher learning for organic agriculture a few years down the road. There are already plans in the works to share smaller AP systems with local villages this next year through Worldwide Heart to Heart to help them become more food independent.
You can partner with Worldwide Heart to Heart Children’s Village and make a difference in the life of many children, and help share Aquaponics in an area that is desperate for that hand up. If you have any questions about the AP system at WWH2HCV, please contact Converse at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact H2H directly at email@example.com or the phone number above. Thank you ahead of time to all of you who donate for the purchase of ZipGrow Towers for Worldwide Heart To Heart Children’s Village. Your donation is tax deductable.