Michael Austin is one of our four 2013-2014 AllPeopleBeHappy Fellow, working with The Kossoye Project in Ethiopia. From Nov’13 to Jul’14, he designed and implemented a nutrition and gardening program for five schools in the North Gondar region for approximately 1,000 children. He reformulated the Kossoye Development Program’s Great Gardener Workshop lessons and activities such that each school would have a one hour lesson each week over the course of six weeks. The lessons were designed to be taught in the gardens themselves, with the students each physically learning how to plant, compost, and even cook the vegetables.
Michael was responsible for Kossoye’s seed packaging and distribution efforts. They distributed seeds to 8,000 students and farmers in the North Gondar area. He also started a partnership with a local Ethiopian organization, Yenege Tesfa. Yenege Tesfa runs several orphanages in Gondar, as well as a single mother’s village. Michael and other Kossoye staff ran several gardening workshops with their children and women, as well as combining efforts for seed packaging and distribution.