Partners in Health and Wholeness continues to amaze me. I had a chance to visit Laurinburg Presbyterian Church where PHW is incorporating their program for healthier lifestyles. Of course this is with the help of some congregation members and local teenagers in the community who seemed very excited to be a part of the health projects for the neighborhood.
Noran, the adult leader of the garden at Laurinburg Presbyterian Church and his group of young men were working on several projects with the help of PHW mini-grant support. They are also a recipient of a Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation of North Carolina Healthy Equipment Grants. One of the projects in place was a completely organic garden, with tomatoes, Japanese eggplants, corn, and herbs among other crops. Funding for the farm equipment and an in-ground well helped Noran and the young men raise and maintain the garden, and the community has benefited greatly from these resources. The produce from the garden is donated to the needy and to a local food bank.
In addition to the garden, these young men produce their own fertilizer by raising worms and using the casings as an organic fertilizer. Finally, they were beginning to raise their own honey bees to help pollinate the garden. It was a wonderful operation and one that is largely self-sustaining.
As a social worker, the most important part to me was just teaching the teenagers community involvement. Noran is a valuable asset to the program, the community, and these young men’s lives. I visited Laurinburg Presbyterian Church to learn more about raising worms, but I was blessed by young teens taking a big part in their community.
Please stay tuned to read more about my experiences during my summer internship with PHW. If you haven’t checked out Partners in Health and Wholeness’ Facebook page, to see these young people at the 2014 Youth Conference, please do so.
–Johnny Rogers, PHW Intern