Tuesday, September 12 2017 was a day of harvest at the shared farm in Mumosho, Congo.
Our agronomist, a University student studying the latest organic farming techniques, shares his new knowledge and understanding of the land, producing beautiful, organic cabbages, fruits, and other veggies for the women to feed their families and sell at the local market. Salome is one of more than 85 women who have their own plot of land to farm through your partnership with Action Kivu.
“I am so happy to understand these farming techniques and be able to put them to use.” Salome, mother of 9 children.
Malnutrition is a constant threat the the lives of the children growing up in eastern Congo, despite the lush land. Our Founding Director and leader Amani Matabaro is excited to report on the growing success of our OFFA (Organic Food for All) program: “We use the compost from the pigsty to both feed the fish in the fishing ponds and fertilize the soil, and we water the crops with water from the fishing ponds as it has nutrients. Look at the results! Everything we grow is 100% organic,” he says.
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Don’t ignore me, Cecile called out as our executive director picked her way across the farm in a valley of eastern Congo, speaking to women about their lives, what it means to grow food to feed their families and to sell at the market.
“This is a new experience,” Cecile, a mother of five, said. “To have my own plot of land. To grow and sell vegetables to help my children, to pay for their school fees.”
Hear their voices — the women of Congo will not be ignored. They are changing their lives, and the lives of their kids and communities! Invest in the movement today. Make it monthly – every dollar makes a difference and adds UP! $175 / month pays the salary of our agronomist, a university student studying organic farming, and sharing his education with over 80 women in Mumosho.
In the midst of the ongoing conflict in Congo, where armed militias continue to terrorize communities, the UN and NGOs continue to work toward peace through the process of disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration (DDR) of ex-combatants.
According to the UN website, DDR supports ex-combatants to become active participants in the peace process through:
As we focus on the needs of the oppressed, the women and girls denied an education and most often the victims of sexual and domestic violence, we also see the need to educate and bring into community the men of the villages, especially ex-combatants, to break the cycle of violence and provide pathways to peace.
Seeing the need for the ex-combatants to find daily work to feel connected to their neighbors and to be contributing members in their community spurred our visionary leader Amani to find community-based solutions. The answer was pigs. Pigs and pedagogy. Purchasing 7 pigs, Amani hired two ex-combatants to care for the pigs around the clock, ensuring their health and safety. Our agronomist Mukengere helped build the shelter, and trains the men about breeding the animals, and their relationship to the farm, how to grow organic food and raise fish.
The goal is to grow our demonstration farm, which is currently home to over 80 women learning the latest organic farming skills as they farm and harvest their own plot of land to include an education for more ex-combatants, to extend pathways to true integration and peace throughout the area. Pigs provide poop for the organic fertilizer for the women to use on our shared farm, as well as help sustain the algae and greens that feed the fish in the ponds on the farm, which are harvested for food and to sell at the market.
As the pigs give birth, the men can sell their offspring to earn their own income, creating a cycle of sustainability. This week, we learned that one mama pig gave birth! Welcome to the world six baby piglets. The project is off to a great start.
See photos and learn more about the farm:
Connect to the people of Congo through this life-transforming work here. Every dollar makes a difference, and a monthly donation provides the resources for us to plan for the future – a brighter future for us all!
Farming my own plot of land is so sweet, not only to sell vegetables for income, but to eat them at times they’re not normally for sale. ~Jeannette
Jeannette is one of over 80 women in eastern Congo who now have a plot of land to grow fruits and vegetables, thanks to your support of Action Kivu!
Our agronomist Mukengere is a student at the university in Bukavu, and teaches the women the organic and sustainable techniques he is learning in his class on agriculture and climate change. They now use local grasses to combat insects, and each farmer has her own compost heap at home, as well as the shared compost for the farm.
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It’s wedding season! Looking for a unique gift? Make a donation on behalf of the happy couple! An $80 gift to Action Kivu buys a healthy goat for a family in eastern Congo. Donate online!