A garden of sanctuary for refugees, asylum seekers and the local community

The Kushinga Garden project started in May 2011 when Bournville Village Trust allowed the group to cultivate some unused land behind Raddlebarn Road, Birmingham.

Kushinga” in Shona (a Zimbabwean language), means strength, and endurance in times of crisis. It’s also a commonly used name for co-operative groups around Africa. At our project we believe in co-operation in the venture of becoming more resilient through food-growing. Food is a powerful tool in the world for creating positive change, both through growing and eating it, and in all cultures it’s what brings people together.

The Kushinga Community Garden aims to:

  • grow local and distant food and plants, as well as unusual and heirloom varieties
  • develop the skills of people in land management by learning from them and training them to develop and manage organic plots of land where they will grow produce for their own consumption
  • engender planning skills and impart hope
  • create a welcoming and relaxing space where people can take part in social gatherings, centred around growing and eating food – even if people aren’t into gardening they are welcome to come and socialise
  • create a sense of social cohesion and integration between new communities and resident communities and between local people in their own communities