APA Plants Seeds of Hope for Lifelong Harvest in Suriname

Since 2019, we have maintained a partnership with the STICRIS Women’s Shelter in Paramaribo, Suriname through funding restoration and expansion efforts for housing and seeking opportunities for ongoing support. The STICRIS mission is to provide accommodations and shelter to women and their children in crisis. Mostly victims of domestic violence stay at the shelter.

“Every year we look to do something sustainable for the shelter and women who rotate out every 4 to 6 months, said Aishel B., external affairs representative. The shelter noticed that the residents were cooking with a lot of canned vegetables, so we looked at various options for growing vegetables to encourage healthier eating and cost savings.”

We partnered with Tiny Gardens to set up a total of seven of vegetables and provide training for residents. They will learn how to grow, nurse and harvest their vegetables and herbs. As a result, residents will gain a lifelong skill of harvesting their own healthy and organic food that can serve them upon leaving the shelter.

A tiny garden is an innovative nursery method to create simple and highly productive vegetable gardens. The method uses a soil mix with three essential ingredients to provide nutrition, moisture retention and drainage. The tiny garden takes up minimal space and can be placed or moved to any desired location.

Within the first year, Tiny Gardens staff will maintain the gardens every two weeks to help with weeding, organic fertilization, organic pest/disease control, planting and harvesting.

We also sponsored the operating costs for four of the 13 apartments owned by the shelter totaling $22,000, which will allow to focus funding on other areas to support residents at the shelter.

Community well-being is a key pillar of our approach to community partnerships and is one of the criteria used to identify projects that align with the ESG framework and core values.