Denyse's Story

Growing New Beginnings: Denyse’s Story

Mustard Seed Communities was established in 1978 to support those with physical and mental disabilities. Jacob’s Ladder is one of these communities, catering specifically to adults with disabilities in Moneague, Jamaica.

Denyse Perkins, the administrator of Jacob’s Ladder, has first-hand experience with the challenges in supporting the residents of this community. As a charity organization, Jacob’s Ladder—along with all Mustard Seed Communities—relies on donations to maintain proper living conditions, including food and other essentials.

With INMED’s help and training, Jacob’s Ladder was able to install an aquaponic system, which combines fish farming with soil-less crop production. It creates a way to farm and harvest crops that are both climate-smart and cost-efficient, providing income and a steady food supply for the community.

“What we’re trying to do is have them participate, those that can. It brings them to their fullest potential and gives them things and a sense of self-worth.”

In addition to healthy food, the aquaponic system also adds a new occupational component to everyday life. The residents of Jacob’s Ladder are encouraged to help maintain the system and its crops, giving them daily activities to take part in, as well providing them with a sense of independence. This system is also well suited to give adaptive opportunities for the disabled.

“What we’re trying to do is have them participate—those that can,” Denyse said. “It brings them to their fullest potential and gives them a sense of self-worth.”

Aquaponics has given peace of mind to this vulnerable community by offering a consistent and nutritious diet. And thanks to resources INMED provided, residents have gained a new sense of pride, knowing that the work they put into the system makes a powerful impact in their community.

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