Posts in Africa

Buying less soap but using more: soap making in West Africa

To put into practice what they had learned in trainings on health and hygiene, and to get around the high cost of soap that stood in the way of fully adopting the measures, participants in FRB’s West Africa 1 program are making their own soap, saving money, and earning income for their groups.

Community members understood how their health and food security are connected to hygiene. However, they were not putting into practice what they had learned about the importance of washing their hands, because soap was just too expensive. The program responded to people’s request for more knowledge by organizing a training on soap making,

04/14/2014 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

In Kenya, farmers report results from conservation farming, irrigation and animals

In the semi-arid Ndeiya region of Kenya, FRB's food security program focuses on resilience and coping with recurrent drought through alternatives such as conservation agriculture and raising small "pass on the gift" animals - rabbits, chickens, goats -- for protein or to sell for income. Participants are female-headed and orphan-headed households, landless people, internally displaced persons, children, and people living with HIV. On-site farmer trainings and exchange visits promote no-till farming, improving soil fertility and water retention with manure and crop residues, and recycling household water for watering vegetables.

Grace N., a farmer who'd had to resort to low-paying, menial work in an effort to support her family, is back to farming and has benefited from the loan of a dairy goat and improved, indigenous chicks

04/11/2014 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

In Tanzania, more profitable cassava through value-added processing

A farmer group in FRB’s Tanzania-Sengerema program is processing freshly-harvested cassava (a starchy tuber) into clean, high-quality flour, and packaging it on-site. The 82-member group, including 44 women, is satisfying the high demand for the product at market, and bringing in good income.The group grows, harvests and peels the cassava, grates it and presses out the moisture using a machine designed and made by local entrepreneurs from the Sengerema Informal Sector Association (SISA), and picks out woody fibers as the grated cassava dries in the sun for two hours.

When the moisture content is below 10%, it is milled into flour with another SISA-made machine, and bagged. The finished product can be used immediately, or stored for up to a year. With SISA’s help, the group has obtained certification for labelling their packages, and can now sell its flour in commercial markets in nearby towns, which further increases profits.

04/07/2014 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

Family livelihoods successfully strengthened as Malawi program ends

As FRB’s Malawi-Kasungu-Mzimba program draws to a close, a report marks the program’s success and indicates that lives and livelihoods have been strengthened with training and support. In one of the world’s least-developed countries (171 out of 187 countries on the Human Development Index), farmers have had to face such challenges as declining soil fertility, plant and soil diseases and pests, lack of access to water, and the high risks of depending on one crop (maize) for survival.

The program’s focus has been on expanding and strengthening agricultural-based livelihoods through the introduction of crop diversification and appropriate agricultural production techniques like

03/21/2014 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

From Tanzania, A Tribute to Joseph Shigulu

Joseph Shigulu, the program coordinator for World Renew’s local partner in Tanzania, the Sengerema Informal Sector Association (SISA), was one of the most dedicated and friendly Tanzanians I have ever met.

On November 30, 2013, Joseph was robbed and killed while driving home from work on his motorcycle. His sudden death came as a shock to his family, to everyone in his community, and to all of us at World Renew, who saw him as a man who was loved by everyone. Joseph was doing so much to help his community, had a passion for serving God, and seemed to be at the peak of his effectiveness. This was probably the hardest news we have ever received in our Tanzania country program, and World Renew and all of our partners are still in shock about this tragic loss.

03/17/2014 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

In Kenya, Farmer Field School graduates work together on poultry production and water collection

FRB’s Kenya Ganze-Jaribuni program supports smallholder farmers in coastal Kenya by organizing them into Farmer Field Schools (FFS) to learn conservation agriculture methods, agroforestry and animal raising. In Jaribuni there are 306 farmers in eight FFSs. The following profile of one FFS shows how the farmers have continued to use their skills to

03/12/2014 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

In Uganda, Chandiru’s training on hygiene and gardening brings her “new life”

Chandiru, a single mother of three, is a member of a Farmer Field School (FFS) in FRB’s Uganda-West Nile program. The schools train farmers on sustainable farming technologies and other subjects related to food security, including sanitation and nutrition.

In communities such as Chandiru’s, many households do not have toilets or other sanitary facilities, exposing the communities to health risks such as cholera, diarrhea, and infections. Chandiru said that, before she joined the group, issues of sanitation and hygiene were not important to her, but now that’s all changed through the trainings she’s received.

03/05/2014 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

In West Africa, volunteer “animators” lead communities in learning

In FRB’s West Africa 1 program, volunteer “indigenous animators” are 15 program participants who have taken on a larger role in making sure that training -- on appropriate farming techniques and village savings and loan practices -- actually takes hold among their peers. Over time, as the number of West Africa 1 participants has grown, the trained animators have taken on more of a leadership role.

02/27/2014 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

Goshen College Students Win Video Contest

Goshen College students Jared Zook and Elizabeth Derstine won top prize in a video contest from Everence. Part if the shared prize goes to Foods Resource Bank

Thousands of online voters selected Jared Zook’s video “I Am a Penny” as the winning production in the Everence Money Talks video contest.

Zook of Goshen, Ind. will receive a $1,000 cash prize for winning the contest

02/05/2014 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

Meet Moussa: West African farmer, trainer, wedding photographer, & reforestation advocate

Moussa, a participant in FRB’s West Africa 1 program, is a busy man. He is a farmer who, before he became involved with the program, didn’t own any animals. Now his family’s compound is full of goats, sheep, chickens and pigeons. As an “indigenous animator” who encourages people to take charge of their own lives and livelihoods, he is a leader in his own community development group. He also regularly visits several other groups to help them keep on track for what they’ve planned to accomplish each year.

Moussa is an advisor to the mayor’s office, a savvy businessman, investor and entrepreneur who, thanks to a microcredit loan from the program, bought a camera and video camera and is now a village wedding photographer!

“Whenever there are any ceremonies in the nearby towns, people call me and I film and photograph their events,

01/17/2014 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More