MCC

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

Raising rabbits for survival in Gaza

THE GAZA STRIP is a disputed territory on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea and the most densely populated place on earth: approximately 1,657,155 people in a total area of 365 square kilometers. Conflict, water scarcity, unemployment and environmental pollution from bombs further increase the difficulty of life here and survival, rather than flourishing, appears to be the goal of most of the inhabitants. The FRB/MCC program provides rabbits and training for food and income. An average income for an employed person in Gaza is around $274-$410 USD a month. Rabbits can be sold at 3-4 months of age and can bring in approximately $13-$16 per rabbit. With no place for the animals to burrow or shelter, an unusually cold winter killed many, and fear and stress from a November 2012 bombing killed or affected reproduction in many more of these sensitive animals. FRB staff recently visited the program and spoke with participants.

06/03/2013 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

Mariam’s work and ingenuity improve household income in Jordan

Mariam and fifteen other Bedouin women who received food security training through FRB’s Jordan-Greigra program are now successfully growing crops in plastic greenhouses.

Mariam's husband has a second wife, and among them they have 10 children to feed and nurture. After the training, Mariam took out a loan from the program’s small revolving loan project in order buy the materials needed to build and maintain a plastic hoop house near her home.

04/03/2013 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

Returning to Traditional Cacao Production in Colombia

Newsletter: 

Communities in the Colombia-Chocó program are turning from growing coca to raising native cacao (pronounced ca-COW) trees, whose fruit is processed into cocoa powder and chocolate. They traditionally lived off agriculture and fishing, but because of the economic isolation and lack of alternative employment in the region, many in this vulnerable population began illegally planting coca for the production of coca paste, to be made into cocaine. This was a highly lucrative but extremely dangerous activity. Colombian armed forces then began forcible fumigations to kill coca plants, once again plunging people into unemployment and risk.The program is now adding the cultivation of cacao to rice production as a way for the communities to produce their own food, earn income, and improve their quality of life.

02/18/2013 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

Reaching out to the needy in Honduras, despite violence

AKRON, Pa – Like the biblical widow who faithfully offered her mite, a tiny Brethren in Christ (BIC) association in the hot, arid, mountainous area of southern Honduras has been working selflessly with neighbors in spite of growing violence and changing weather patterns. Honduras now has the highest homicide rate in the world according to 2011 U.N. figures – 82 per 100,000 inhabitants per year – and the prevailing lawlessness caused the U.S. Peace Corps to withdraw its volunteers from the Central American country in January.

With Mennonite Central Committee’s (MCC) support, the Social Development Committee of the Brethren in Christ churches in Honduras, known as CODESO, is teaching farmers how to store crops, providing microloans and offering agricultural training – all to develop a more reliable food supply and income.

02/04/2013 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

Small Loans, Big Impact for Colombian Farmers

Newsletter: 

Jorge’s entire farm is visible from the ridge above it, as it falls down the steep slope and into the curving valley around a small stream. All told, Jorge cultivates about two hectares of land in a rotation of corn, rice, and two staple root crops, cassava and ñame (yam), of which he sells a part in the local market and keeps the rest to feed himself and his family. He farms all of the land by hand, using simple tools like machetes and hoes to clear brush off the steep slopes and loosen up the soil in pockets which he then plants by hand. Jorge is truly a small-scale farmer.

11/28/2012 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More
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