KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – For Luhasa Mukanire, a Congolese refugee, gardening was her happy place, and she longed to continue this lifestyle in East Tennessee.

It wasn’t until Bridge Refugee Services, Inc. was approached by other local refugees about planting a garden, that Mukanire’s dream of growing crops native to her homeland in the Congo, would come to fruition.

In partnership with Beardsley Farm, Three Rivers Market’s Nourishing Change Program and assistance from local volunteers, Mukanire and 25 other refugee families can plant native crops from their home lands.

“This program allows clients to connect with this very important cultural practice and also provide food for themselves and their families,” said Drocella Mugorewera, executive director for Bridge. “We hope the program will continue to grow and provide opportunities for refugees to even generate income from their gardens.”

The mission at Bridge Refugee Services is to offer opportunities for refugees to bridge the gap between an old life outside of America to a new life inside of the U.S.A.

Celebrate World Refugee Day on Saturday, June 20 with Bridge Refugee Services, Inc. virtually at noon.