In Farming

Farm to Table to Classroom: Planting Food, Hope, and Change in Congo

When you plant a seed, you cannot be 100% sure that the plant will grow, our partner Amani says. Reflecting on the sustainable agriculture project that is changing the lives of the women working on the farm, Amani sees more than just food and income in the cabbages and tomatoes. “The power and the hope I see in the people in our programs makes me believe. Even when there is little water during the dry season, we get plants to grow!”

Planting seeds 3 women July 2015

It’s the dry season in Congo. When the winds blow this late in the summer, dust swirls off dirt roads, limiting vision to a few feet, if not inches. But in the valley, the shared farm is verdant. The women in the Organic Food for All (OFFA) program have been carefully tending the seedlings they planted in July, filling watering cans at the nearby creek to grow the crops that will feed their families and give them income from sales at the local market.

seeds into food 8.2015

Cabbage in August, Mumosho, DRC.

It’s been an unending dry season in eastern Congo: years of conflict, fear sown by militias who use rape as a weapon of war and kidnap children to use as child soldiers, lack of medical attention or access to education, extreme poverty. In the midst of that ongoing season, Amani has seen hope grow. He has planted seeds: in schools and vocational and community building programs. He has seen women gather together to learn new trades, to form cooperatives, to earn income to send their children to school. He has seen men begin to change their views about women when they attend community education projects that focus on equal rights and the problem of domestic violence. He has seen the men celebrate when their wives start a small business. He has seen girls earn top scores when they head back to school, and has heard women ask why, why can’t they do the jobs men do, and then he sees them go do those jobs.

“When you plant a seed, you cannot be 100% sure that the plant will grow. The power and the hope I see in the people in our programs makes me believe. Even when there is little water during the dry season, we get plants to grow!”

“I tell you this
to break your heart,
by which I mean only
that it break open and never close again
to the rest of the world.”
― Mary Oliver

When you partner with Action Kivu, you continue to plant seeds of hope, that we see grow into changed lives!  Read their stories on our blog:

Woman waters farmers follow July 2015

One farmer finds a creative way to carry her hoe.

 

Men digging fishing pond3_8.2015

Men volunteer to dig one of the three planned fish ponds, to be home to tilapia and catfish to add protein to meals and to sell at the market. Action Kivu is raising funds for the fish, while the men are prepping for success. “If you build it, the fish will come.”

 

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