Living Hope Church’s six-year Widows’ Gardens Project has been able to provide access to garden plots to 632 Ugandan widows at the end of the fifth year. Photo supplied.

Living Hope Church’s six-year Widows’ Gardens Project has been able to provide access to garden plots to 632 Ugandan widows at the end of the fifth year. Photo supplied.

Comox Valley church’s Widows’ Gardens Project has helped more than 600 Ugandan women


An African widow is often, by definition, a beggar.

In southwestern Uganda, a widow is often without the land to grow food which makes her totally dependent on the generosity of others. She asks her neighbours for the chance to work in their fields in return for that night’s supper and takes home to her cooking pot a few handfuls of beans or maize or millet to feed her dependents.

The usual tragic story is that the husband falls ill and finally dies but only after whatever garden plots the family owned have been sold to pay for his medical treatment. Or in some cases, as is now illegal in Uganda but still practised sometimes, the deceased husband’s relatives come to reclaim the land forcing the widow and her children to abandon the only assured source of food available to them.

“The amazing thing to me, is that even without access to a sustainable food supply, a surprising number of these widows will take in and care for orphans, in addition to their own children or, as is often the case, grandchildren,” said David Moore, volunteer project officer for Courtenay’s Living Hope Church. “They recognize that they are the last recourse for many orphans without surviving relatives, and they will accept this responsibility, sharing what little food they have.”

No money for schooling, no money for a change of clothes, no money for soap, perpetually hungry, living in ramshackle huts in need of repair and bedding and furniture – you can usually recognize a widow in public by her downtrodden appearance.

Living Hope Church’s six-year Widows’ Gardens Project has been able to provide access to garden plots to 632 widows at the end of the fifth year.

“You can begin to see the difference this makes to their physical appearance and sense of personal worth after the first two growing seasons,” said Moore. “As a Ugandan dignitary once blurted out when he was first introduced to a group of such widows, ‘You don’t LOOK like widows!’.”

The project concept is simple: Give a widow access to enough land and seeds through two growing seasons to enable her to feed and clothe her family and save to renew the lease the following year. Each widow receives access to three-quarters of an acre.

“On behalf of Living Hope Church, I’d like to thank all of the project’s donors and supporters living in the Comox Valley,” said Moore.

To be part of this effort to bring food security within reach of Ugandan widows and their dependents, please call the office of Living Hope at 250-334-0777 or email or visit

Comox Valley

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A B.C. Centre for Disease Control map shows new COVID-19 cases by local health area for the week of April 11-17. (BCCDC image)
BCCDC says fresh COVID-19 cases down in most Island Health areas

Nanaimo sees its fewest new COVID-19 cases since mid January

Col. Bryn Elliott is the new wing commander of 19 Wing Comox. Photo submitted
New wing commander at 19 Wing Comox

The ceremony was presided over virtually by the commander of 1 Canadian Air Division.

Comox council voted to change the speed limit from 50 km/hr to 30 km/hr along a stretch of Lazo Road. Photo submitted
Speed limit change coming to Lazo Road in Comox

Racing, pedestrian safety issues presented to council

The new childcare centre on Denman Island opened in April. Photo, Comox Valley Schools
New Denman Island childcare facility opens

The facility offers 20 new licensed care spaces

Pharmacist Barbara Violo arranges empty vials of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine that she has provided to customers at the Junction Chemist, an independent pharmacy in Toronto, Monday, April 19, 2021. Younger Canadians in several provinces are now able to get the AstraZeneca vaccine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
AstraZeneca vaccine appointments fill up fast on Vancouver Island

More pharmacies expected to be added as supply increases

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Trudeau announced target during a virtual climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The following is a list of restaurants offering take-out and patio dining. ADOBE STOCK IMAGE
List of Comox Valley restaurants offering take-out, patio dining options

Restaurants in the Comox Valley continue to adapt to government-imposed restrictions in… Continue reading

MLA Shirley Bond, right, answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on February 19, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Former B.C. gaming minister says she wasn’t told directly about dirty cash flowing to casinos

Shirley Bond said Thursday civil forfeiture, gang violence and gambling addiction were also major concerns in 2011

RCMP Constable Etsell speaks to tourists leaving the area at a police roadblock on Westside Road south of Fintry, B.C., Thursday, July 23, 2009. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Yvonne Berg
B.C. police say they take ‘exception’ to conducting roadblocks limiting travel

Asking the police to enforce roadblocks exposes officers to further risk and possible COVID-19 infections, says federation president Brian Sauve

As part of the province’s strategy to combat the opioid overdose crisis, take-home naloxone kits have been distributed throughout the province. (Courtesy of Gaëlle Nicolussi)
Vancouver Island could be at its worst point of overdose crises yet: medical health officer

Island Health issued overdose advisories for Victoria, various communities in the last two weeks

Tofino residents expressed frustration over a recent post by Long Beach Lodge owner Tim Hackett that falsely claimed all residents have been vaccinated. (Westerly file photo)
Resort owner apologizes for suggesting Tofino is safe to travel to

Long Beach Lodge owner Tim Hackett apologizes to community and visitors

BC Hydro released a survey Thursday, April 22. It found that many British Columbians are unintentionally contributing to climate change with their yard maintenance choices. (Pixabay)
Spend a lot of time doing yard work? It might be contributing to climate change

Recent BC Hydro survey finds 60% of homeowners still use gas-powered lawnmowers and yard equipment

Journal de Montreal is seen in Montreal, on Thursday, April 22, 2021. The daily newspaper uses a file picture of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau dressed in traditional Indian clothing during his trip to India to illustrate a story on the Indian variant of the coronavirus. Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press
Montreal newspaper blasted for front-page photo of Trudeau in India

Trudeau is wearing traditional Indian clothes and holding his hands together in prayer beside a caption that reads, ‘The Indian variant has arrived’

Most Read