LSU senior interior design students participated in a community outreach project to design a garden at a home in Louisiana for young women who have been victims of human trafficking. The organization that operates the property, Metanoia, works to support girls in the United States by providing a safe home for them to live. The location added the kitchen garden for both practical and therapeutic purposes.
“The project was such a great community outreach opportunity and a meaningful experience for students,” said professional in residence Tracy Burns, a practicing interior designer at CDI Solutions, LLC, who organized the project.
The Metanoia home is a refuge for adolescent victims of human trafficking, housing girls “until they are ready to function in society,” according to the organization. The girls are supervised and nurtured by nuns who have volunteered their service in a non-denominational capacity to assist recovery. A volunteer staff of professionals, including physicians, nurses, social workers, educators and others, support the girls who live there. Goals include: physical health, mental health, spiritual health, life skills, education, and reintegration into society.
The garden’s objectives include promoting physical and mental wellness, as well as assisting the home’s residents to develop the life skills of cooking and meal planning. The garden provides an avenue to learn about gardening and healthy meal preparation, and offers a tranquil healing space outdoors on the property.
The LSU Interior Design Student Organization (IDSO) collected funds to purchase the herbs and flowers for the garden, and helped to construct and plant the garden. Their aim was to use design principals to create a garden space to promote recovery for the girls who live in the home.
“I feel so very fortunate to have been given the opportunity to leave a small, but long-lasting imprint on Metanoia,” said student Kristen Landry, (BID ’18), who is a design intern at Frost-Barber, Inc. “I hope the herb garden IDSO has planted will bring joy and delicious meals to them for many years to come!”