Peacebuilders Camp at Koinonia Farm

Stories from Camp – Day 3

June 25-30, 2012

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Article 25, Section 1:  “Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.” [from Universal Declaration of Human Rights]

To learn about the right to health care, Peacebuilders Camp took a day-long field trip to Ellenton, GA to visit the health clinic there that serves migrant workers. We went swimming at Reed Bingham State Park and then drove to the clinic. Diaz Food, a Latino food wholesaler, donated a truckload of food to our camp. A dad of one of the campers drove the boxes to Ellenton and the campers replenished the food pantry at the clinic that our 2011 campers had started. Some nurses from the clinic gave us a tour of the farms around Ellenton where watermelons, peppers, tomatoes, cantaloupes and other vegetables are grown in large quantities. We got to see migrant farmers working in the fields, we were amazed at the amount of food left to rot in the fields, and we learned about the medical conditions migrant workers deal with as a result of their labor. On the way back to Koinonia that evening, we stopped and ate pizza in Albany, GA’s Riverfront Park. Click on any photo below to see a larger version.

This is one of the mobile clinic vans that the Ellenton Clinic uses to provide healthcare to migrant farm workers.
The campers worked hard in the heat, fighting gnats, to carry all the boxes for the food pantry into the clinic.
The boxes were very heavy. JaQuan showed us how strong he was.
The food donation from Diaz Foods included everything from rice, beans and flour to sodas and gelatin.
The campers organized the food into cabinets at the clinic. Then, Monica (who speaks Spanish), and several other campers made bi-lingual labels for each cabinet of food.
The campers finished organizing the food pantry, cleaned up, and now migrant families can get healthcare AND food in Ellenton!
On our farm tour, we saw teams of migrant workers harvesting watermelons - tossing the melons from one man to the next. You can imagine the back problems that can result from this type of work.
The farm tour took us to a tomato field. Campers were amazed at the number of good tomatoes being discarded. Only green tomatoes can be safely shipped to stores, so all red tomatoes are left to rot in the fields.
Campers were able to "save" some tomatoes. We brought them back to camp and shared the bounty with the Koinonia community.
Look at all the waste in a harvested field of squash. Very different from our experience the small-scale organic farm at Koinonia.

Go on to Day 4…

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