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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I’ve just arrived from Mumosho, our founder Amani reports. I am so happy to have spent time with this new group working on the shared farm near the Women’s Center today. They are continuing to learn new agricultural techniques, skills they use to improve the harvest through organic fertilizer. They had sprouted the cabbage seeds down in the marsh farm to plant today in the farm next door to the Women’s Center. Today this group is so happy, and so am I, to plant these cabbages.
Planting the cabbage and seeds today is parallel to planting peace: they need to be tended to every day, as people need to work for peace every day, says Amani.
Through Action Kivu’s shared farm program, Organic Farming for All [OFFA], women and girls who have been denied an education are learning sustainable farming, growing food to feed their families and to sell at the market. Those who have been given a goat through our Animal Husbandry program, My Goat is Your Goat are able to transform their goat’s feces into fertilizer.
Sikitu and Neema pause to explain how they use organic fertilizer. The women have been tending a compost pile made of grass, domestic waste, and soil for one year, raking it over every four to six months, depending on how fast it composts. 35 years old, Sikitu is the proud mother of eight, but two of her children died of malaria when they were 13 and 3. Sikitu never got the chance to go to school, and is now part of both our Literacy and OFFA program. Mama Sikitu works beside Neema, who at 18 years old is one of 9 children who did not get the opportunity for an education. Neema is also a student in the Literacy Program, the entry point for all Action Kivu’s vocational training courses.
Nsimire and her sister Lelo load organic fertilizer from the compost pile that is ready to use. Neither had the chance to go to school for lack of support, and are so happy and committed to learn more agricultural techniques to acquire new skills.
The girls and women receive some specific training from Mukengere Bienvenu, a student graduating from the Evangelical University of Africa (UEA) in Bukavu in the field of Agronomy. Fresh from the classroom, he brings new energy to the farm, teaching the latest skills.
Planting seeds and small plants in the soil symbolizes the hope that we plant, knowing we will harvest it in the future.
~ Amani Matabaro, Founder
Read more about how we are planting seeds of hope and peace in Congo on our blog, and consider supporting this life-transforming work today! A monthly donation is an investment in the future of Congo, and ensures the sustainability of projects like our Organic Farm for All and Literacy Program.
Mamy is a member of the Class of 2015, graduating Action Kivu’s Sewing Workshop with a Singer sewing machine and the tools to start her own small business. Amani Matabaro, who started the Sewing Workshop when his cousins came to him in 2005 after they were raped and had no where to turn to earn income, caught up with Mamy last week at the Mumosho Women’s Center.
Mamy had a hard life from the start, orphaned at an early age. When she became pregnant after being raped, she thought life was worthless, that she was nothing. But joining the Sewing Workshop and meeting her new sisters at the Women’s Center, she has new hope for herself and her three year old son. Mamy smiled as she met Amani on her way to a wedding. “Look at me, Papa Amani! Now I have become somebody.”
Your support helps these women transform their lives, replacing despair with empowerment and hope.
Meet Mamy in the video from the Sewing Workshop graduation, March 2015:
“Before joining this program, I was worthless. I was nothing among all the people. Because now, I can sew, I feel I am a strong woman. Able to school and feed my child. Contribute economically into the life of my family. I feel lifted up.”
If you want to partner with women like Mamy, who in addition to earning income from her sewing business, is also part of the OFFA (Organic Food for All) Program on our shared farms, click here to read more about Action Kivu, and consider a monthly donation!