The world has witnessed the global food crisis surge at an unprecedented speed, with the number of undernourished people increasing from 572 million to 735 million in only five years. The United States alone has seen a concerning rise in food insecurity as the number of households struggling with this challenge increased from 13.5 million in 2021 to 17 million in 2022.
Sondra Martin Hicks, the co-founder of Garden for LIFE, witnessed the harsh reality of food insecurity firsthand during a visit to a South Sudanese refugee camp. Upon seeing how people are forced to rely on the meager rations provided by the United Nations to survive, Hicks made it her mission to make a difference. She recounted, "We stood in despair after witnessing not just hunger for food but hunger for purpose. That moment, staring into the eyes of the people affected, painted a picture that even words can’t properly convey. We know it’s an overwhelming situation that one person alone can't fix. But we believe that every small effort counts.”
Garden for Life organization logo
Driven by her passion to help communities and contribute to addressing the issue of food insecurity, Hicks co-founded Garden for LIFE. This initiative aims to empower communities with the skills to produce their own food and destroy barriers to growth and development through an innovative video-based educational program.
The program offers a unique approach that extends beyond the conventional method of providing education on agriculture. Through captivating videos, viewers will be transported to the unexplored corners of the world. This method aims to inspire a profound connection between individuals and the earth, allowing them to expand their horizons and rekindle their desire to dream beyond their immediate surroundings.
Garden for LIFE combines hands-on agricultural training, cutting-edge technology, and inspirational educational content in its curriculum. "Our approach isn't limited to agriculture. Our goal is to create a holistic narrative. It's about conserving soil, financial literacy, and community building," the co-founder emphasized.
Sondra Hicks with women from Zimbabwe with the Garden for Life initiative
Aside from helping novice growers produce high-yield crops, Garden for LIFE equips learners with marketing, financial management, and entrepreneurial skills. Doing so would assist communities in transforming farming into a sustainable business. The organization also instills leadership qualities in community members, especially the youth, to encourage them to play more active roles in their community's growth. Hicks remarked, “With Garden for LIFE, the goal is to give individuals a sense of empowerment and dignity. Our focus is on the youth because, given the aging demographic of farmers worldwide, we’re racing against time. We need to equip young minds with not only knowledge about farming but also leadership skills.”
Garden for LIFE's program also promotes practices that protect the environment by ensuring the sustainability of farming practices. In addition to environmental stewardship, it advocates for connecting with nature and embarking on a journey toward spiritual development through God's creations.
The organization’s commitment to innovation is further exemplified in its utilization of a solar-powered LightStream. 91% of the world’s population owns a cell phone and the LightStream can distribute content directly to users devices. This tool will allow people to watch and download the Garden for LIFE’s media library free of charge.
Garden for LIFE is actively seeking financial support from the public to continue its global mission to sow seeds of change. Contributions would help the organization reach even more communities, allowing it to shape a future without hunger. Hicks passionately said, "We see a glimpse of a brighter future in every success story of the people we meet, in every cultivated garden. It's about making a tangible difference, one community at a time. Ultimately, we want to pave the way for a world where hunger is no longer a norm but a conquered challenge."
Name: Sondra Hicks
Email: [email protected]