Using Photovoice to Capture the Meaning of Gardening and What Motivates Refugees to Participate in Gardening Activities
Grubesic, Ruth B.
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Session presented on: Wednesday, July 24, 2013: Purpose: To collect qualitative data, utilizing a technique called PhotoVoice, answering three study questions: Why do you participate in gardening? Does access to fresh produce from the garden affect food choices? How does gardening impact you and your family? Methods: Fifteen refugee participants (from two refugee communities) agreed to participate. Two training sessions were given: 1. teach participants the Photovoice concept, 2. teach use of the digital camera. Participants spent 4 weeks taking photos aligning to the study questions. Captions were prepared for each selected photo. A photo display with the 5 photos and captions was prepared for each participant. A photo exhibit was given in the community to disseminate the findings. Results: Five themes emerged; Gardening is good for health, vegetables are tasty, it is peaceful to garden, pride in growing their own vegetables and harvesting, and socialization while gardening. These themes describe the reasons why the participants like to garden, Conclusion: Food security is an issue among refugee communities. Access to a garden and the produce from a garden provides fresh, affordable food. Gardening increases physical activity and consumption of healthy produce. Future intervention will include methods to encourage other vulnerable populations to participate in gardening.