Posts in UMCOR

Hope for the Future

“May God bless everyone from UMCOR and the FRB community who have helped disadvantaged families in Armenia have a vision for the future, sharpen their skills, and strengthen their food security.” So says the staff of local partner UMCOR Armenia Foundation (UAF) as the program comes to a close. “Witnessing the progress of the program fills our hearts with joy as we observe results and the positive changes in the lives of our participants.”

Samvel, head of a household of five, says, “You’ve made it possible for me to realize my longstanding dream of having a sheep farm. When my mother got sick a couple of years ago, I sold my last cow to be able to care for her. After that, misfortunes followed one after another, and we were so unhappy. Thanks to the program, I now have three sheep and two lambs on my farm. I even envision doubling and tripling my flock in the near future, since the ewes are pregnant. My wife has received nutrition training as well, and our meals have more variety. She knows how to make cheese and sour cream, and we sell some of our dairy products to take care of our debts. What you’ve given us is a way to make a living, and hope.  Thank you.”

UAF staff says the effects of the support and encouragement given to marginalized families in remote villages will live on. Pass-on-the-gift practices have made beehives, chickens, and sheep available to additional families to improve their nutrition and have a source of income to take care of a variety of expenses. The entire community benefits from the availability of eggs, meat, dairy, wool, and honey, and relieves people of having to make long trips into towns for supplies.  Training and follow-up have ensured that farmers know how to care for their animals for continued success.

“Words are not enough for expressing gratitude on behalf of all these families,” says Norayr, a representative of one community whose futures have changed because of the program.

Caption: Chickens improve lives like Alvina’s

Armenia FHSLD Program
Led by United Methodist Committee on Relief and UMCOR Armenia Foundation
3 communities, 156 households, 352 individuals

 

04/06/2018 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

"Pass on the Gift" Provide Families with Nutrition and Income


In remote Armenian mountain villages, employment opportunities are hard to come by and life is a challenge.  Gifts of chickens, lambs and beehives passed from one neighbor to the next mean nutrition and income for hungry and poor families.

Uncle Jahan, who cares for his disabled wife and carries out all house and garden chores, has worked hard all his life.  He saw low yields due to the harsh climate, depleted soil and lack of seeds. He was delighted to receive four beehives from a neighbor, and expects a good honey harvest this year. The lime blossom honey cheers and nourishes his wife, and the income from honey sales allows them to move beyond subsistence to hoping and dreaming again. Jahan also joined a training event on healthy meals intended for community women. “Why not?” he smiled. “I do all the cooking.”

A younger villager, Shoger, supports her family of three as well as her disabled brother and his three children. Thanks to the 15 chickens and a rooster she received, she now has 10-12 eggs a day.  Shoger says, “For a mother, the most desirable thing is to have healthy children and provide proper meals. These chickens are one of the best things that ever happened in my life. My thanks to all the wonderful and kind people living in the U.S. who have thought about us so far away.”

Photo caption: Children help deliver chicks

Armenia FHSLD Program
Led by United Methodist Committee on Relief
3 communities, 156, households, 352 individuals

12/11/2017 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

In Armenia, two new communities begin walking the path to food security

As previously-supported communities in FRB’s Armenia- FHSLD program become better able to support themselves, interventions begin in new places. In two remote villages, local partner UMCOR Armenia Foundation recently visited 28 families per community to determine their eligibility for inclusion in the program. These low-income or unemployed households might be refugees families, be headed by women, or include many dependents, orphans, or handicapped members.

06/28/2016 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

Ruben’s Tree: In Armenia, a hopeful, caring gesture symbolizes FRB’s mission

How many of us even notice roadside vegetation, let alone stop and think how it got there? A lone maple tree on the road between Yerevan and Shirak Province in Armenia has a heartwarming history. How it survived in the harsh, dry climate has a parallel with the slow but steady work of ag development, and the nurturing inherent in all of Foods Resource Bank’s food security programming overseas.

A number of years ago, thousands of trees were planted along the roads in Armenia with the goal of revitalizing neglected and isolated communities

03/24/2016 | 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

In Congo, Beatrice’s family is now thriving

A year after Beatrice received agricultural training in FRB’s DRC-Katanga-Kamina program, her situation has changed from desperate to thriving. Last year, her family of nine suffered when her husband lost her job and her youngest child fell seriously ill.

Members of her church helped pay the hospital fees, and things started looking up when a friend told her about a program that offered training in farming. The FRB program gave her hope because she saw it as a way to feed her family, earn a decent income, and gain reliable access to food, healthcare, education and other life necessities.

04/10/2015 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

Heath and Nutrition in Democratic Republic of Congo

In this video, Margot Bokanga, DRC Program Manager for UMCOR, explains how the Foods Resource Bank Democratic Republic of Congo- Katanga Kamina program is addressing health and nutritional needs and spells out how a potential issue could be turned into a great strength for these communities.

09/23/2014 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

Nicaraguan families learn together through farmer-to-farmer exchanges

FRB’s Nicaragua-Mateare program addresses food security issues in one of Latin America’s most food-insecure countries by training farmers in sustainable agriculture practices, and making sure that mothers with children ages 5 and under understand basic health practices, the importance of a balanced diet, and safe food preparation.

This integrated approach – growing enough food and ensuring that it is used to its best advantage for the health and wellbeing of all family members – is key to the success of the program. In Nicaragua, 1.2 million people are affected by hunger, environmental deterioration, chronic poverty, lack of potable water and insufficient food.

02/25/2014 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

In The Gambia, a sustainable approach is the key to finishing well

As FRB’s multi-phase micro-gardening program in The Gambia comes to a close, participants will be able to carry on confidently with the help of a program-trained Private Service Provider (PSP). The program’s overall goal has been to enhance and sustain the livelihoods of at-risk people in peri-urban and urban areas of The Gambia by promoting soilless, organic, tabletop vegetable production using local resources.

07/12/2013 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More

Farmer-to-Farmer in Armenia

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Fremont, Michigan, is a small town with a big project. Fourteen years ago, a few farmers and their local churches started a Growing Project with Foods Resource Bank (FRB). That is, they agreed to combine resources, donate a share of their crops, and raise money to help disadvantaged farmers in other parts of the world. Since then, their project has expanded to involve 20 farmers, 10 churches, several local businesses, and many individuals and organizations.

Gloria Switzer, the leader of a local peace and justice group, is proud to be part of the Fremont Growing Project. “FRB is carrying out its mission of ensuring that food is a human right for all persons,” she writes.

Switzer has traveled with FRB to several countries, including Armenia,

03/13/2013 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment | Read More