Focus on food security

There is hunger in South Africa – hunger not just for food, but for nutritious food that connects the heart and the stomach. Through My World, My Garden, MAWO helps communities create sustainable food sources –gardens that use indigenous and culturally connected plants, vegetables and fruit. The focus is on engaging young people, providing lifelong skills in creating gardens that nourish and create enterprise for the long term. The final step in this process is providing learning that enables communities to improve food preparation methods.

My World, My Garden is an important step on the road from dependency to empowerment.

My World, My Garden, working in South African communities and schools under the My World In A Garden® name, helps communities set up a farming system that can feed every community member and address indigenous nutritional needs. This program goes beyond just feeding communities: it delivers lifelong skills that enable communities to turn their crops into organic sustainable micro-gardens that nourish and create enterprise for now and future generations. My World, My Garden also helps foster healthy eating habits through daily meals in community kitchens for the young and elderly. Meals are available for purchase by other members of the community. Working with schools and crèches,we ensure the most vulnerable are provided with either meals or fresh ingredients to produce meals.

This program engages with every age level of the community and empowers participants to see what is within their grasp.Not only can they grow and produce food for today, but they can grow and learn more refined agriculture and business skills that are transferable and can be adapted to the unique needs of a community. As with all My Arms Wide Open projects, the program is driven by the communities. We facilitate the learning; participants apply that knowledge to the specific needs of their community.

Through My World, My Garden, donors can extend the value of food beyond immediate and desperate needs of feeding and support the development of skills that reverse the trend from dependency to empowerment.

Our impact

We’ve increased attendance of girls to 75 in 2016 in the Bergnek community

In Vancouver, we created a curriculum for kids to plant, nurture, harvest, store and cook the foods they grow.

The wall in Vancouver serves the needs of 50 children each week.

Our success stories


In the Downtown Eastside, Vancouver we created a curriculum for kids to plant, nurture, harvest, store and cook the foods they grow. The wall in Vancouver serves the needs of 50 children each week.


There have been 6 entrepreneurial businesses started directly out of the program including a construction company employing 22 people, a roadwork company that employs 20 people, a furniture factory that employs 10 people and serves 17 communities.


GirlStuff.Period manufactures school uniforms and reusable, washable menstrual kits. In conjunction with their business the ladies of GirlStuff.Period have donated menstrual kits to over 3,000 young girls in need in South Africa, Swaziland, Zimbabwe and Zambia.

Medical Clinic

In addition to this, a grocery store, and a medical clinic in the works for 2017

Other causes