frb newsletter

Our 2012 in Review: A report from the Byron Center, MI Growing Project

With a damaging early spring frost and the summer drought, 2012 was, for FRB, a year of uncertainty. There was concern that the level of support for global partners might be less than in the past because of possible shortfalls from hard-hit growing project communities in the U.S.  However, the Scriptures reminded us in Galatians 6: 9, "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up."

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

In Congo, Even the Poor Can Earn Income

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Mama Ilunga shares how even the poor can earn income and have a healthy life thanks to the Democratic Republic of Congo-Katanga Kamina program.

FRB’s food security program in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) works within the communities of Kamina to reduce high levels of malnourishment, poverty and disease, especially among women and children. This holistic program focuses on training in agriculture best practices for the local environment; sanitation, hygiene and sources of clean water to reduce waterborne illness; and income generation from agriculture. Fast-growing Moringa trees, whose leaves, flowers, seeds and roots are all edible, are a new source of nutrition for the community. Farmer groups prepare fields and plant peanuts, soybeans, field beans and corn together, and sell their excess produce for income. One of the participants, Maman Ilunga, shares her experience and insights:

03/05/2013 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

In Bolivia, Sprinkler Irrigation Produces Healthy Vegetables and Families

Don Tomás, a 52-year-old father of seven who participates in FRB’s Bolivia-Potosí program, says: “Before this program began, one of our biggest problems was water scarcity. Sometimes we were able to plant only a portion of our land, and only when the spring rains came. Now, with the installation of the sprinkler irrigation systems using water from our pond, we can save water, it gets to more families, and we are able to water more frequently with less work. So, this year, eight families were able to plant a hectare (2.47 acres) more than we did last year. There was a drought, but our crops are doing better than those of other families who don´t have this kind of irrigation."

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

A Gift of Cassava Keeps on Giving in the Central African Republic

A gift of disease-resistant cassava (manioc) from a program-to-program visit is bringing greater food security to participants and neighbors in FRB’s CAR-Gamboula program.

When the program’s director, Benoît, traveled with FRB to Uganda in 2010 to exchange knowledge and practices with program participants from around East Africa, his Zambian roommate offered him a 2-foot section of a cassava cutting from a plant which was said to be resistant to cassava mosaic virus (CMV). Cassava is a staple food in the Central African Republic, so when local varieties were attacked by CMV, widespread hunger followed. Benoît knew that a CMV-resistant variety would be a godsend.

02/28/2013 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

Church World Service Receives Award in Serbia

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On February 13, 2013, CWS was awarded a gold medal from the national Red Cross of Serbia for “significant results in achieving the goals and objectives of the Red Cross.” The ceremony was held in the Red Cross headquarters in Belgrade and attended by General Secretary of Red Cross Serbia, Mrs. Vesna Milenovic, Secretary of Red Cross Smederevo, Mr. Tomislav Zivanovic, CWS Europe Regional Coordinator, Dr Vitali Vorona and Red Cross and CWS staff. Dr Vorona accepted the award on behalf of CWS.

02/27/2013 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

A visit to FRB’s Bolivia Tacobamba Program - Part 2

Part 2 of 2 on a visit to FRB's Bolivia-Tacobamba Program by volunteers from IN growing projects. Click here to read part 1

Representatives from local partner Nord Sud realized very early on that they would have to gain the trust of the villagers if they were to be successful. They did this not by simply presenting the information and leaving, but staying and living in the village for 20 days of every month to work and teach alongside the villagers. It still took over 2 years of effort before the villagers began to accept the new ways of eating and farming. We saw a new 2-room school, and small metal bins they used to protect their crops from insects and rodents.

02/25/2013 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

A visit to the Bolivia-Tacobamba Program - Part 1

A team of eight of us from Habitat for Humanity was going to be working in Cochabamba, Bolivia.  Since three of us were FRB partners – we volunteer for community growing projects in Indiana – we secured permission from FRB, program lead member Lutheran World Relief, and local partner Nor Sud to "drop in" on one of the villages in FRB’s Bolivia-Tacobamba program.

Tacobamba. Until this visit, it was just a name on a piece of paper. Every year our church Missions committee has a meeting after our harvest celebration to choose where our portion of our growing project’s money will go. This year they had been given a list of three programs from around the world and had chosen one in southern Bolivia called Tacobamba.

02/22/2013 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

Conservation Farming and Rabbits Improve Nutrition and Income in Kenya

Dominique, a participant farmer in FRB’s Kenya-Ndeiya program, is gradually turning over his conventional 3-acre piece of land to conservation agriculture (CA). He’s become a role model for other farmers in the using CA, or Farming God’s Way (FGW), as it’s also known. Zero tillage plus mulch retains moisture; crop rotation helps to prevent diseases; organic fertilizer renews the soil and saves money; and inter-cropping wards off insects.

02/20/2013 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

Returning to Traditional Cacao Production in Colombia

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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

Feeding the Hungry: Paoli Mennonite Fellowship Responds to Worldwide Needs

PAOLI, IN — While members of the Paoli Mennonite Fellowship are giving of their resources to help fight hunger in parts of the globe where food supplies are short, the congregation is finding the effort is reciprocal. The fellowship’s Lonnie Sears, who initiated the group’s involvement with a nonprofit organization called Foods Resource Bank, shared his view that the effort isn't just about giving, but also is about receiving.“PMF has made connections with people in other countries,” Sears wrote in an email. “FRB emphasizes working together with others and learning from others. While we in the U.S. are materially wealthy, other world regions without financial resources can have great social and spiritual wealth to share with us. We try to recognize ways that we can exchange these gifts rather than thinking we just give to others.”

02/15/2013 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More
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