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Interns in Action: Jamila's RIC experience

Here's an account from TFP intern Jamila Kibirige on her experience participating in last month's Rooted In Community conference:

On July 28, 2009 I had the privilege to attend the RIC conference that took place in Portland, Maine. There were three organizations that were in charge of the conference: The Food Project, Lots to Garden and Cultivating Community.

The role that I played was to lead the opening ceremony where we talked about safe space and I was in charge of a group of different people from all over the country in making up rules for the conference so that they can all feel free to share.

The conference was 5 days long and we had a lot of different activities to do. After we arrived that Wednesday we met the different groups and had the opening ceremony. The next three days we had the opportunity to do some fieldwork on the gardens of the three planning organizations. We got to ride bicycles and it was fun because it was a lot of people on bicycles throughout the city. We had a lot of different workshops too.

That Saturday we worked on The Food Project’s Lincoln farm as well as Appleton Farm. That means all 110 people got on the bus and drove to Massachusetts to work on these lands. Here, I got to talk a little bit about how The Food Project works, including how many pieces of land we have, how many youth and where the food goes.

I learned a lot about how most organizations are. The ones in Maine have a lot of pieces of land and they are all really small. And most of the youth have to sign a contract saying they will not eat processed foods at work. In one of the kitchens, there was no sugar at all so I learned their approach to getting youth to eat healthier.

I wish that all Food Project youth could attend because everyone should see how different organizations work. And I hope to get to the next conference in North Carolina where the host is going to be Seeds! 

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