FRB

Sylvia Builds Success Brick by Brick

Sylvia, a young farmer, entrepreneur, and participant in our Kenya Makueni program, is proud to be able to support her family. She’s proud, too, that she’s making it possible for other young people to earn an income. She employs up to four young people in her brickmaking business, each of whom earns about $3 a day.

And, thanks to support from our program, the youth farming group that Sylvia belongs to is flourishing. They went from nearly abandoning farming to generating income from their fields and greenhouse and starting small businesses.

When the group first tried to raise kale on their farm, their lack of technical know-how led to failure and frustration. Some members began moving to towns in search of employment, but many stayed on when offered practical training. They learned a number of sound conservation agricultural practices like drip irrigation, and received seeds, a greenhouse, and a quarter acre of land to use. The group planted tomatoes in the greenhouse and peppers in the field, and received regular advice from our local partner. They made enough not only to cover their expenses and set aside personal savings but to start a Village Savings and Lending Association (VSLA) group. The VSLA will help members find even more ways to earn an income.

Sylvia took out one of the first VSLA loans to start a brick-making business. She hired four young people to help her at a penny a brick, eventually selling 5,000 bricks at a nickel apiece, for a net profit of $170. She has since been able to repay her loan and expand her business. She looks forward to continued success both as a farmer and a business owner and employer.

Picture caption: "Soil ripping, a conservation ag practice

Kenya Makueni Program is Led by Lutheran World Relief
4 Communities, 244 households, 6,221 individuals

11/01/2017 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

Mulching Means More Maize

Salome spends a lot less time on farm work because the mulching she does suppresses weeds and frees her from hoeing, a task that used to consume most of her time.  

Like most farmers in this dry region of Kenya, Salome’s maize yields were increasingly disappointing until she tried a number of techniques aimed at building soil fertility and retaining moisture.  This harvest, Salome’s production tripled in spite of a lack of rain.  She had improved her soil with such conservation agriculture practices as minimum tillage, applying manure as fertilizer, crop rotation, agroforestry, and using drought-tolerate varieties. But, for Salome, the technique she most appreciates is mulching. With less overall work, her harvest increased from one to four 220-pound bags of maize in the same small plot.

She and other farmers have also started practicing better post-harvest grain handling and storage, including drying maize on tarps in the sun to prevent the poisonous fungus aflatoxin. Many are storing their grain now in hermetically sealed bags that prevent moisture and pests without chemicals. Higher yields and reduced post-harvest losses mean more overall food for their families, more to sell, and more to plant the following year.

Participant farmers are also planting trees to produce fruit, fuel, wood, shade, and mulching materials. All these and other improved practices are taught at the program’s two hands-on Farmer Field Schools and disseminated through their communities by trained facilitators. When they see the great results that conservation farming yields, area farmers go on to put their new knowledge to work on their own farms.

Kenya Tigania encompasses 7 Communities, 200 Households, 1,000 Individuals
Led by World Renew and local partner ADS - Mt Kenya

09/14/2017 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

Beehives bring new opportunities to children in Armenia

Bees and their honey are a cornerstone of the progress of FRB’s Armenia FHSLD program. Beekeeping has been added as part of a farming operation in the local children's center which is bringing benefits, not only in nutrition but in training for life skills and teamwork. 

08/16/2013 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

In Kenya, communities build sand dams to address water needs

Pastor Matayo is a community leader in FRB’s Kenya Ngong-Intashat program who was involved in sand dam construction across a seasonal river, from start to finish. The program’s goal is to increase food security by making water more available for household use, livestock and agriculture.

07/19/2013 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

FRB growing project in SW Michigan raises over one million dollars in ten years of “growing lasting solutions to hunger”

A passionate collaborative effort by six local churches and volunteers has helped a local Foods Resource Bank (FRB) Growing Project exceed $1 Million in proceeds for overseas food security. 

After 10 years of harvesting crops for the Foods Resource Bank through the partnership with growers and volunteers, the Kalamazoo County-Calhoun County growing project has raised $1,007,018 for world hunger by 2013. 

07/11/2013 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

In Nicaragua, communities and visitors build bread ovens together

Several travelers – FRB board members and staff, university students, and growing project participants – recently traveled to Nicaragua to live and work with participants in FRB’s Nicaragua-Farmer program. The visitors, side by side with community members, built fuel-efficient bread ovens. They carried bricks and water significant distances to the worksites, plunged their hands into a mixture of local materials (different types of soil, horse manure, glue from inside the bark of the guásimo [WA see mo] tree), and helped to complete four brick ovens with the local families.

07/10/2013 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

In Kenya, 10 self-help groups selected as leaders in their communities

To promote greater commitment to agricultural development among the Maasai participants in FRB’s Kenya-Ngong Najile program, ten of the program’s 39 established self-help groups were selected for special training to become “servant leaders” to the others. Their communities will benefit from the stewardship, good examples, knowledge, improved relationships, conflict resolution, and goal-reaching of these groups.

The program addresses food security for these once semi-nomadic, pastoralist people and encourages them to form inclusive groups across gender, age and political lines. The groups participate in trainings on

06/07/2013 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More
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