FRB’s Serbia-Smederevo program is producing more and more of the food it supplies to the elderly, internally displaced, unemployed, marginalized Roma populations, and children served by the program’s local partner, Serbian Red Cross. While increasing its long-term sustainability by producing meat, vegetables, fruit and grain on-site, the program employs able-bodied recipients in construction, animal husbandry, farming, and food production operations whenever possible.
A successful and socially conscious Savings and Internal Lending Community (SILC) in FRB’s Malawi-Kasungu-Mzimba program has used its emergency social fund to cheer the sick at a local hospital and health center.
All SILCs set aside a portion of the interest earned from loans for a “social fund” to cover members’ emergencies like illness, funerals, and calamities. This particular SILC had been fortunate enough not to have needed to use its fund, and the amount kept growing. Considering what to do with the money, the group decided to share the bounty at an area hospital and a health center with special donations.
Three FRB work learning groups recently returned from Guatemala and Nicaragua. These intergenerational groups went deeper in our learning about FRB as we spent more time in each local community than happens in a regular FRB visit. We supported people in work they were doing for their own communities.
For the second time since 2010, farmers participating in FRB’s Mozambique Tete-Mutarara food security project being implemented by World Renew’s partner IRM-RDD have been hit by major floods, resulting in enormous losses and destroying livelihoods. In January and February 2013, rainfall increased to the point that the Zambezi and Shire rivers swelled, their waters submerging farmland and homes. Transportation was also hampered along the Tete-Madamba-Mutarara road, and even railway lines were temporarily obstructed, disrupting the flow of people and goods and causing more hardship in the area.
Our mothers, grandmothers and great-grandmothers were often faced with imprecise recipes that presumed they knew a lot about what they were doing before they even started, such as what the dish was supposed to look like and taste like. FRB received a charming recipe of this type from one of our partners in Mexico for a corn-based refreshment called "pozol." Are you willing to try it? Hint: it’s not made with sweet corn!
Members of Myersville's Grossnickle Church of the Brethren is undertaken its Growing Project to raise funds for the Christian organization Foods Resource Bank. On May 19 Grossnickle will partner with eight other churches to hold it's Blessing of the Seeds event at the farm of Grossnickle members Jeff and Patty Hurwitz.
An update from one of FRB's newest growing projects in Ohio!
Here at g.r.o.w. (Gardens Reaching Others Worldwide) we are planning to show love through a harvest. Spring is finally here and we are excited to get on with our start-up year.
We currently have three group locations and possibly input from several home gardens. The group locations can be found at a school campus, a church, and a farmstead.
To educate farmers about land rights and land conflict resolution, FRB’s Tanzania - Sengerema program has produced two training manuals in Swahili on the topics. Land rights and legal title to land are critical to food security: 75% of the population of 650,000 in Sengerema District alone depends on agriculture as the primary source of income and food.
“Tukiwa na maji, tutakuwa kama ulaya” (“If we have water, we shall be like the developed countries”) – Kitui program participant
In the Kitui region of Kenya, community-built water ponds, closer to home, collect seasonal rains and free women and girls from the drudgery of searching for water, waiting for hours in queues to collect it, and carrying it home, all of which can take up to 120 hours a month. Even in the face of the 3-year drought affecting the area, these earth dams are full for about half the year.