Martin Oloo planted vegetables in the backyard of Nyaweri Prevention centre in Kisumu and turned the space into a refreshing garden. He started the garden as a hobby in late March 2020 to keep himself busy and ease mental tension, anxiety, and stress during the COVID-19 pandemic. He named the place “CORONA GARDENS” in reference to the novel virus that has been causing fear and stress as it spread across the globe.
Corona Gardens is a simple and small backyard garden. The garden has a variation of traditional and modern vegetables including tomatoes, onions, beetroot, spinach, squash, garlic, turmeric, kales, cucumbers, and more than ten ‘Kienyeji’ (local) vegetable varieties. Corona Gardens is about being creative and innovative.
Corona Gardens provides a serene and refreshing environment for work, psychotherapy and learning. The garden has a meeting space for 4 people while maintaining the government’s physical distancing guidelines. It offers a separate counselling support yard where one-on-one can be offered to those who, in the event of any distress, may need a refreshing experience in a confidential season. The garden offers a learning experience to staff, clients and other visitors who come to the site for services, information, or mentorship.
Martin Oloo (pictured above) coordinates LVCT Health’s disability program and is based in Kisumu, Western region. Martin is himself a staff living with disability. He is one of the long-serving staff at LVCT Health who started his career at the organisation in 2004.