When Derek Deemal began growing plants, he also began growing pride and enthusiasm.

Before joining POP, he described himself as a person with “low self-esteem, no interest, no time and no motivation”. Now his garden is flourishing and he has a more positive attitude towards life.

“I’m proud of what I achieved and I did it myself,” he said. “Getting up early to go to work, I like looking at my plants and I like seeing if they grew.”

Derek’s mother, daughter and aunties were already members of POP, when he signed up two years ago. He wanted to beautify his yard. “I thought it would be easier to maintain once it was done properly,” he said. “I wanted more family time, gatherings, and barbecues.”

Through POP, Derek not only learned about growing and maintaining his garden. “I learnt patience and commitment,” he said. Now he is reaping the rewards.

“I have a garden now. I have equipment that I never owned before, including gardening tools, a mower and wheelbarrow” he said.

“It made my home more happy. When my family, my children and grandchild come over it’s rewarding. We spend more time outside together. I get compliments from other people about my yard.”

And Derek plans to keep growing.

“It’s only the beginning but I’m looking forward to keeping it going, next I want a vegetable garden,” he said.