CWS

Many Hands Make Light Work

Newsletter: 

“Many hands make light work.” In Haiti’s Northwest Department, this is more than just a common saying. This is the principle behind the work that Foods Resource Bank supports through CWS and other partners.

I recently traveled to Haiti and met with some of the cooperatives that the program supports. Through the work of local partner SKDE – translated to the Center for Christian Integrated Development – the program supports 12 cooperatives that reach nearly 5,000 families. 

06/08/2016 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

These Little Piggies Went to Market…and Changed Fortunes

The simple gift of a piglet from FRB’s Dominican Republic Bateyes program changed the fortunes of two mothers. And they, in turn, are “paying it forward,” enabling 10 neighboring families to make life-changing improvements to their circumstances as well.


Ramona is a widow with three children who feared she would become destitute. But things started to turn around when she received and raised her first piglet. She gave four of that sow’s initial offspring to neighbors and sold eight, using the proceeds to invest in more animals. She’s sold over 50 pigs to date and made more than $4,000.  Ramona’s business has thrived with help from her children and the day laborers she hires from among her neighbors. She now has nearly 100 animals and a brighter future.


Likewise, Juliana, mother of three, saw everything improve thanks to that one small gift. She has made $620 so far from selling piglets after giving six to neighbors. She’s thrilled that the money helped her send her two sons to school and pay for their school supplies, uniforms, backpacks, shoes and transportation.  


Best of all, Juliana’s pig business has brought her back to her community. She used to be a domestic worker in the nation’s capital, Santo Domingo, and made the commute home only on weekends.  Now, she earns enough to stay home, raise and sell pigs, and run a small grocery store she and her husband opened in their home.

Photo courtesy of CWS. Caption: Juliana with one of her pigs

Dominican Republic Bateyes Program
Led by Church World Service and local partner Servicio Social de Iglesias Dominicanas (SSID)
22 communities, 465 households, 3,255 individuals

11/14/2017 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

Every Family has a Story of Struggle and Triumph

FRB’s local partner CASM says, “When you see tables in reports about program progress, you just see numbers of participants -- this many men, this many women, this many children. We never forget that each number represents a person or a family, each family or individual is unique, and each one has a story of struggles and triumphs.”

Take Doña María, for example. Yes, she counts as a program participant, but she is also a valued leader in her community. She is always motivating other women to try new things like energy-efficient stoves, organizing a training event on vegetable gardens, or attending a reforestation rally or a nutrition workshop. She is a highly motivated person who always thinks about others first. At the same time, she is a widow caring for three grandchildren aged 12, 9, and 7 since their mothers migrated to the city looking for jobs.

The program includes supporting rural families in improving the sanitation, health and hygiene condition in their homes. María has helped many neighbors’ families get access to a stove, cement flooring, or latrines.  Her neighbors encouraged her to be a recipient as well.

Said María on the day materials for her latrine were delivered, “This is a day of great joy for us who live in a village forgotten by the authorities but supported by FRB.  We are happy because in one week we will build our latrines. We invite you to come into our homes to show you how this program has supported our families and changed our lives for the better.  We thank you very much."


Honduras Nueva Frontera program
Led by Church World Service and local partner CASM
14 Communities, 626 Households, 3,130 Individuals

Story and photo courtesy Church World Service

10/23/2017 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

Land rights and Food Security in the Gran Chaco Region

CWS, FRB, and Week of Compassion, Presbyterian Hunger Program and UMCOR hosted this informational webinar about the Gran Chaco Region.

The Chaco is the biggest forest reserve on the continent after the Amazon and the largest dry forest in the world. A major eco-system, it is also a region with great cultural diversity, home to 25 different indigenous ethnic groups including communities who for centuries lived as semi-nomadic hunter gatherers before losing most of their land. 

Now in its tenth year the FRB Chaco Program supports efforts by the indigenous peoples to reclaim their ancestral lands and assists them to improve food security and nutrition.

05/20/2015 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

CWS Honors Foods Resource Bank

Foods Resource Bank is a long-time partner and supporter of CWS development programs. As such, the CWS Board of Directors chose to honor FRB at its April meeting in northern Virginia. Here is an excerpt from the remarks of CWS Board of Directors Chair, Dr. Earl Trent:

“In recognition of its significant contributions to the mission of CWS; 

05/08/2015 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

LIFE IN THE CHACO

Two of FRB's partners, Week of Compassion and Church World Service (CWS), support local Paraguayan partner Mingarã in the Chaco Region of Paraguay. Mingarã works with indigenous communities of the Chaco through assistance in accessing and securing ancestral land rights, promoting sustainable agriculture to provide food security and nutrition and facilitating access to safe water.

In March of this year I had the opportunity to spend time with the community of San Lazaro during a visit with Week of Compassion, CWS and Foods Resource Bank.  Just days before Holy Week the visit brought to mind the Raising of Lazarus  -  miracles of Jesus which fill us with hope and life – as the inhabitants of the San Lazaro community, after decades of struggle, finally managed to move to a piece of land which is rightfully theirs.

04/16/2015 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

Another View: Changing climate hurts Honduran farmer

My name is Melecio Cantoral Gonzalez. I am 30 years old. I live with my parents, my wife and my two small children. We live in the community of Bella Vista, near Nueva Frontera in Honduras, in a small home made of adobe with a metal roof. It has a kitchen, a living room, and one small bedroom. My wife and I share our room with our children. Together with my family I farm a little more than 4 acres.

I walk about 30 minutes to get to the land I farm, which is on a steep slope. I grow mainly corn, red beans, and coffee. A couple of years earlier I started to plant other crops because of training I had received. I learned that I can’t support my family with just corn and beans and I learned other things, too,

02/24/2015 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

2014: The Fight Against Climate Change and Hunger Continue

The year in the humanitarian world? It ends with agencies scrambling to respond to another typhoon in the Philippines (luckily not as severe as last year's but still plenty worrisome), as well as bravely continuing work in the ongoing Syrian refugee crisis.

What 2014 has principally been, though, is a year of constant and churning problems, in which the challenges of climate change and food security (the availability and access to food) became more acute and ever-more clear.

12/11/2014 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

FRB's Haiti-Northwest program faces many local challenges

Please pray for the people of Haiti as they struggle with the effects of multiple droughts and resultant severe food shortages.  This article from the BBC covers another aspect of desperation from lack of prospects: risking their lives on crowded boats as they seek work elsewhere. It mentions the area of Haiti where FRB's Haiti-Northwest program is working to help farmer cooperatives achieve food security in the face of natural disaster.

Every year thousands of Haitians risk their lives trying to make the perilous sea voyage from their country to one of its wealthier Caribbean neighbours in a bid for a better life.

They cram themselves into small boats which are often far from seaworthy. They run the risk of capsizing or being picked up by coastguard patrols.

Many feel this is their only option in a country which is not only the poorest in the western hemisphere but which was further destroyed by a devastating earthquake in 2010.

People from all over Haiti head to the north-west of the island to get onto these boats to leave their homeland, but most are from this impoverished region itself.

06/03/2014 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

Local cooperatives fill many important roles in Haitian Communities

Because there is little government presence where FRB’s Haiti-Northwest program is working, local people understand the need to organize for the protection, development and growth of their communities. The twelve program communities have created cooperatives which address the varied needs and concerns of its members.

Training Co-ops provide training on many topics, among them appropriate agricultural techniques like intercropping as a way to take the best advantage of available land and ensure that, if one crop fails, the others might survive. More farmers are planting peanuts, congo beans (pigeon peas), and root crops like manioc (cassava) and sweet potato because of their excellent survival rates.

04/16/2014 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More
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