By Clement Hadosaia
Many people view disability as someone who is helpless and would depend solely on their able family members and relatives for their survival. There is some truth in the sence and that depends very much on the type of disability one is in. However, the fact is that not all things are impossible for a disable person to do, but there are things that a disable person can do in life.
The backyard gardening or Sup Sup Garden as commonly known in Solomon Islands, has been widely promoted by Kastom Gaden Association for many years. In fact the main idea behind the backyard gaden is to encourage people to grow nutritional crops such as cabbages, tomatoes, beans, corn and small root crops around their houses, thus encouraging the mothers to easily access the garden and to enable them to cook proper diets for their family meals, especially childrens to avoid malnutrition and other dietary related problems.
In Takwa, north Malaita, a disabled women Ms Cecilia Kolango had taken a keen interest to make her own back yard garden around her house where she and her mother lived. Cecilia was born disable and unable to walk alone except with the support of a crutch or would crawl on the ground to move herself around the house where she grows slippery cabbage, beans, tomato, shallot, taro and sweet potatoe. Despite her disability, she kept her garden clean and maintain mulching around the crops.
Now at 35, Cecilia has learned about the organic system applied in the backyard gaden through a relative who has attended a training organised by KGA 3 years ago, and whom has closely supervised her at the first place. She soon discovered the benefits herself, when peoples living in the artificial islands, outside Takwa as well as the nearby villages come to buy cabbages from her. She said this has occurred daily and the demand is very high, so this has further motivated her to do more and continue to maintain her gaden, sometimes on a rotation basis. Her newly found outdoor activity, has eventually enable her to earn some income which as she said, has really helped her to pay their basic needs and financial support to herself and her old mother, who was too old to work in the gaden.