Garden of Peace

"To plant a garden is to dream of tomorrow." - Audrey Hepburn

A few weekends ago, DuHope staff and artisans came together with our corporate partners, Deriv, for a special project - the Garden of Peace. The garden was built to create a safe space for the artisans to engage in counseling sessions or to meet with Adeline, our Social Welfare Associate, or to spend time together building connection among themselves. We want to ensure that the DuHope artisans have the best opportunities to feel safe and comfortable, and we know that the physical space we sit in contributes hugely to this. We hope that providing an open space, with fresh air, and beautiful plants will lend itself to creating a sense of peace and safety.

A particularly enjoyable aspect of the day was having some of the new DuHope artisans from Cohort 1 join in! This was a great opportunity for them to spend more time getting to know the staff and meeting our fabulous Deriv partners. They shared some of their thoughts and reflections with Adeline:

“This gave me inspiration to grow a garden in my own home because it was beautiful. Also, I was able to work with people I was not familiar with, and seeing them gardening made me happy, because we worked together”

“It was nice working with the others. I came because I thought it was a good idea to work in a positive environment. I'll love my working place better because I participated in the activities aimed at making it look more beautiful.”

“When people stick together and work together, it brings a great outcome. It makes us know each other better and learn more about certain things.”

“I tend not to participate in community activities, but this one was fun. I realized that I should go to other community activities, like Umuganda, in order to learn teamwork.” (Umuganda is a monthly occurrence in Rwanda where each neighborhood comes together to do community service.)

“I never thought different people could come together and do different gardening activities like these and achieve this. It was such a lovely job; we were able to have a good time with our boss and the rest of the team in general - it was really really good.”

Adeline also shared, “It will be nice and relaxing, being able to breathe good air, and see what we have made with our own hands. It’s amazing watching a tree or flower you planted growing every day - it makes me happy”.

So, while the physical outcome of a beautiful space was our initial focus, we now see how important it was for building connection, community, and creating a sense of belonging for some of our new artisans. And we now extend the same ideals to our new Garden of Peace.

A special thanks to Deriv for their support and partnership!