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Community building and growing your own food.

The idea is to provide equipment which help people in growing their own food and also build a community around it. Often in low income communities food is the basic factor. Every mother wishes that she feeds her children the best and nutritious food. how ever becomes difficult due to lack of money, resources and knowledge. Making a group of mothers who have children and expecting mothers to make their own food for their children will encourage them to grow their food and hence give better nutrition to the child.

Photo of ajmal manzil
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The packets contain seeds and tools which are required for growing the plant. The seeds can be obtained locally which are relevant to the country. the boxes also contain instructions of nutrients which are in various food items and how it will help the child. The idea is to make group of 5 to 10 people grow them together ..so one person makes one type of vegetable. a group could make 5 to 6 varities and hence making them self sufficient. It would also help in building a community around the activity of farming and more knowledge sharing takes place between the people using it. 
The package can be designed in such a way that it makes some type of toy /game for the kid which will also encourage the parent.

Who will benefit from this idea and where are they located?

Any community located anywhere in the world

How could you test this idea in a quick and low-cost way right now?

1. Make a kit with seeds , tools and some nutritional knowledge related to child upbringing.
2. The kit should be given to at least 4 or 5 people living in close proximity at the same time. so that they can make them together and share their food.
3. Take feedback of the problems which they are facing.

What kind of help would you need to make your idea real?

An NGO which works with mothers and pregnant women. Feedback from other nutritionists, social workers, game designers,

Is this an idea that you or your organization would like to take forward?

  • Yes. I am looking for partners that might be interested in taking this idea forward in their communities.

32 comments

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Comment
Photo of Maria Van Doremalen
Team

I loved your idea! This idea will not only help with childrens nutrition but also will teach them something! creating a very importante ballance that will for sure help the childrens development.Try to be more specific about the plants, and think that most of these parents are very busy, and how could you adap your idea to this

Photo of Taz Fear
Team

Really enjoyed reading this and seeing the comments below with NGOs coming on board this exciting challenge!
Just a thought as I'm a vegetable grower myself - will different seeds be sent to different areas depending on their soil types? I.e. some soils are more acidic than other soils and only particular vegetation will grow in certain conditions - (even things like shade humidity and soil moisture need to be taken into account).
Perhaps its worth investigating the areas and their soils in which you intend to plant in and research what vegetables will grow best in those conditions.

Photo of Ozgecan Aydin
Team

this is a great idea, and in fact our group had similar ideas. The point that you have made saying that this can be issued in any community around the world could be an issue, because not all crops grow in all soils and climates, the land may be infertile or very fertile therefore it is very hard to judge if this packet and all the seeds will be successful in all the countries. It will be more effective if the idea will be based in one country or village around the world. other than the packaging and everything looks very successful!

Photo of Thais Nascimento
Team

Hi Ajmal! I really like this idea, and believe that it has great potential. Just one thing to keep in mind is that you need to be careful when creating the packets with seeds and instructions because every place in the world has a different climate and soil conditions. Also each community have your own culture and type of food. It would be great seeing this project come to life!

Photo of Vishagan Baskaramoorthy
Team

Your prototype shows instantly what the concept is and what it does very clearly. Our team has also come up with a similar idea (grow your future) and reading yours has helped give a different perspective. This helps show things/aspects we may have missed and consider solutions for these. Perhaps the packaging cover art and materials your kit is made out of could be changed in some way to represent the area they are sent to? Great work!

Photo of asif masood
Team

exactly we have a similar idea our self but we also incorporate health, nutrition, and many other topics. we also give them item for example seeds with the nutrition (story) book or a thermometer with the the healthcare (story) book.

Photo of asif masood
Team

Hey Ajmal I like the idea a lot as it is similar to ours, I thinks its great to provide seeds so they can plant them and grow there as its a sustainable source for each family at the same they will be passing on the knowledge of farming to there children at a very young age so it will stay with them for a lifetime.

Photo of Chris Payne
Team

This is a very good idea because like you say a mothers first priority is to feed her children, but low income families don't necessarily have the funds or resources. If you identify an specific community you can research into what they lack nutrition wise in the area. Then you can identify what specific foods to grow from the seeds?, but I do think it is absolutely key for the development of a child's brain to get the correct nutrients. So maybe look into what are the absolutely vital nutrients a child needs for there brain development and incorporate this. Also on another note i think your prototype looks great and i like the way that you can interact with it.

Photo of Daniel Martinez da Cruz
Team

Wow i like the images at the start. They really pop and explain the concept really well! This caught my eye as its very similar to our idea and i think there could be some great collaboration here!

firstly maybe few things to think about in your concept:

-where/how will the packaging be made?
-what will the packaging be made from? Locally sourced materials or overseas?
-is there a way to get the fathers involved in the process?
-is there a way that the waste material from the packages can be used for something else? the toys are great idea but what about the rest of the material? Is there a way to use more of it, or perhaps have an efficient way of using it in a process e.g. soaking it in water and planting it with seeds (i dont know if that would work depending on what material, just an idea)?



With our idea on my page, the team has been working on JAMBO. We create a process/service that is centred around creating a collection of books as an end product, but the local people are involved in every step of the production line. This is to give ownership to the product and by involving the local people in as many steps as possible, we get the best insight into creating the best product we can, that is not just for a one time use, but could be passed down through generations and have a long life of helping and educating others! Come check us out!

Photo of An Old Friend
Team

Hi Ajmal,
Your idea will be helful for the low-income families to ensure daily requirement and nutrition. However have you think about who can take care of the babies when the parents are out for working and growing?

Photo of Maaite Villaar
Team

I think that this idea could contibute in children development. the thing is to bring them the tools to create a community and the necesary raw material to be able in the construction of a sustainable enviroment.

Another thing it could include are, soap, desifencant or this type of things that could help in the hygiene of the children. Cleaning their hands is so important, and this simple added soap could avoid some illness.

Some countries are so sexit, so it might be interesting creating responsabilities for the girls that boy must accept. For example: the women has the key to get water from the well. But in this case, small responsabilites to the 5 years old girls.

come on with your idea!

Photo of ajmal manzil
Team

this was one of the earlier posts from which this idea was inspired.https://openideo.com/challenge/zero-to-five/research/masti-clean
its a great idea to include soaps detergents etc also . I m intersted in the second part of what you have mentioned. how to can we use this platform to teach kids certain values and bring about a cultural change where it is needed.

Photo of G. Quinque
Team

Hi Maaite and ajmal, thank you both for sharing nice ideas about providing children kits. It really ensures better nutrition for children and helps them to build small community through 'working' together.
I am thinking that the kit could somehow include more equipments, such as soap mentioned by Maaite above. We could also provide pencils and notebooks, so that children could draw or write down the growth and changes of the plants. It can also be used in school teaching.
Another idea is to group the equipments into categories, which makes easier to clear up the kit by children themselves. Seeds, Hygiene, Stationery, etc.

Photo of Elimu Community Light
Team

I really love your Idea since it has potential similarities to my Idea Check it https://openideo.com/challenge/zero-to-five/ideas/first-five-years-parenting-kit#c-78b22a52a1e53b0d2e27e6b40569793a

Photo of Meena Kadri
Team

Perhaps you'd like to share more feedback with Ajmal about what you specifically love about his idea. This is the the essence of being a genuine and productive collaborator :^)

Photo of Reach Out, Mbuya Parish HIV/AIDS Initiative
Team

Hello Ajmal. Thank you for sharing this idea. We would like to work with you on our project which also focuses on women in urban slums growing their own food. I believe your kit will be a perfect fit for what we intend to achieve.

Reach Out, Mbuya is an NGO based in Uganda, Africa. Please check our profile and idea https://openideo.com/challenge/zero-to-five/ideas/lessons-from-grandmother-how-to-feed-my-child and contact by email to see how we can work together.

Photo of ajmal manzil
Team

Hello , this is great . please send me a mail at ajmalfazal@gmail.com

Photo of Saranya Rukmangadhan
Team

Hi. Sorry, I have been out of action for a while. This is an interesting idea Ajmal. It could be as simple as growing sprouts and some nutrient food for kids like potatoes, sweet potatoes, peanuts, etc. The crop should be easy to grow in multiple climatic/geographic conditions and nutritious. All the best. Do share your insights.

Photo of ajmal manzil
Team

Hi saranya, sorry iwas a bit away. i think you are working with very closely with NGOs, Could you help me in testing out the idea..

Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard
Team

Ajmal,
Nice idea!
check out this other idea: https://openideo.com/challenge/zero-to-five/ideas/veggication-communal-vegetable-planting-education-scheme-to-give-children-the-opportunity-to-learn-about-their-individual-influences-secure-food-supplies-and-strengthen-family-ties

I think they are quite complementary.

Photo of ajmal manzil
Team

sorry i have been completely out of touch for a while. thanks anne. they are both similar. could you throw in some suggessions as to what can come inside a community box......what kind of other informations can be put. socially relevant messages.. etc etc

Photo of Meena Kadri
Team

Fun idea with potentially significant impact! Could be really cool to try a lightweight prototype of this during our Ideas phase (even from outside of the developing world to see what you can learn)

You might also consider helping people better grasp how this idea could play out by describing some example scenarios which describe user journeys through some of the proposed activities you've outlined. Check this example: http://www.openideo.com/open/e-waste/concepting/neighbourhood-e-waste-champion/ where a few simple scenarios were created in an attempt to explain the goodness on the idea in a human-centered way. (You can update your post at any time by hitting the Update Entry button up there on the right.) Through doing this we'll be able appreciate your idea through the lens of people in low-income communities.

Looking forward to seeing this idea evolve and part(s) of it to get tested in the hands of potential end users. Bring it on!

Photo of Meena Kadri
Team

Could also be distributed at centres like this? https://openideo.com/challenge/zero-to-five/ideas/nutrition-point-empowering-parents-to-own-their-child-s-wellbeing (we'd love to see what would come of & Sararanya collaborating!)

Photo of André Fernandes
Team

Hi Ajmal, in Brazil there are cases of kitchen garden in schools, which are good places for it when possible. Considering that many urban areas where low-income families live have limited space for agriculture, it's interesting to think about prototypes to optimize the little spaces available with recycled materials. Example, use plastic bottles to plant. In the following link, there are some images to inspire:

Using plastic bottles: http://reginaalves411.blogspot.com.br/2014/05/alimentacao-saudavel.html

Using plastic bottles 2: http://www.reporterambiental.com.br/solucao-ecologica-plantio-em-pequenos-espacos.html

Using wood boxes to plant: http://amigosdobotanico.blogspot.com.br/2010/11/parque-horticola-urbano-avanca-no-vale.html

Photo of Maurizio Bricola
Team

Hi Ajmal you might also want to check this relevant resources: http://www.permaculture.org/permaculture-resources-2/gardens/ Cheers!

Photo of ajmal manzil
Team

thanks andre thats some neat ideas to grow where there is lack of space. Inside the instruction manual such examples could be mentioned which will help them do it.

Photo of André Fernandes
Team

Really nice the previous comments. The idea given by Maaite about involve gender equality and homemade products like soap matches with agriculture in low income areas.
Ajmal, may you send your e-mail? I organized the pics and videos I found on PPT file. I included 2 videos showing the urban gardening in Japan, inspiring how a overpopulated and small territory demands to optimize every single square meter.

Photo of ajmal manzil
Team

Cool here is my email. ajmalfazal@gmail.com

Photo of Maurizio Bricola
Team

Hi Ajmal thanks for including me in your team. What type of collaboration do you envision? I really like the idea. It might be interesting to think more in depth on what such a kit might include. How can we support or assist users in getting the needed fertilizers and chemicals (or producing their own). The idea to have complementary kits, one for berries, one for tomatoes, one for beans, etc.. is a good one to enhance community building and ensure variety.
Kit might be integrating also with a recipes book, since we might want to introduce some vegetable or fruit that might not be well known but very high in nutritional values.
Would it be an idea to integrate the kit with a very little amount of cash for starting a group saving loan?
Cheers

Photo of ajmal manzil
Team

Some nice thoughts Maurizo, adding some money and encoraging to save would be a nice concept. Also it would be intersting to make a business model like . the vegetables which are made extra could be sold to some others and hence bringing some income to the family

Photo of Meena Kadri
Team

We also think your idea could benefit from joining discussions on this idea: https://openideo.com/challenge/zero-to-five/ideas/communal-gardens-using-the-simple-reel-garden-to-give-breast-feeding-mothers-the-nutrition-they-need-for-a-happy-and-healthy-child-improves-nutrition-education-and-community-all-in-one Given collaboration is the name of the game here at OpenIDEO, we hope you might reach out and collaborate to grow each other's concepts. Innovtaion loves company!

Photo of ajmal manzil
Team

thanks meena
Interesting.