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.
FRB’s program in West Africa responds with flexibility to the needs and vision of the communities involved. Students at various training events share what they’ve learned with their neighbors, so that everyone benefits.
For example, a recent community workshop focused on basic veterinary care for poultry, including vaccination. One woman who attended had previously lost many chickens to disease,
Several countries in West African have been fighting an Ebola outbreak for the past several months and the disease continues to spread. There are now 6 countries in the region where the disease has been found – Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Senegal.
One of the countries hardest hit is Sierra Leone where we have two FRB programs
While all humans may be created equal, they certainly do not have equal opportunities and access to food, water, healthcare and income. Watch this series of short videos by World Renew on their West Africa 1 Program and see how your life might be different had you been born in West Africa.
In celebratation of Earth Day, here’s a look at some programs that are improving community health through soap.
Development is complex, and is never as easy as 1-2-3. It must take into account many human factors – our diversity, experience, present realities, personalities, cultures – but that’s not all. Climate change, natural disasters, societal pressures, politics, global markets, environmental degradation from industry or local practices: all have an influence on how our program participants can adapt to change and adopt practices that will help them break the cycle of poverty. Even a seemingly simple practice like using soap promote health and hygiene may not be so simple for some people in our world.
To put into practice what they had learned in trainings on health and hygiene, and to get around the high cost of soap that stood in the way of fully adopting the measures, participants in FRB’s West Africa 1 program are making their own soap, saving money, and earning income for their groups.
Community members understood how their health and food security are connected to hygiene. However, they were not putting into practice what they had learned about the importance of washing their hands, because soap was just too expensive. The program responded to people’s request for more knowledge by organizing a training on soap making,
In the high plains of the Andes Mountains, a dozen indigenous communities participating in FRB’s Bolivia-Potosí program are enjoying better health, eating nutritious, varied food and drinking clean water, thanks to their successes in vegetable production. Ninety percent of families have established vegetable gardens, and 70% of these families have boosted their incomes by 70%. Advertising that promoted the communities’ organic onions and lettuce in the nearest city led to an increase in sales.
The 12 communities have received training in appropriate farming, irrigation methods and marketing, and program follow-up in the areas of nutrition, hygiene, and preventive health.
By engaging mothers in workshops on nutrition, hygiene and home gardening, the communities involved in FRB’s Peru-Chota program are seeing a reduction in child malnutrition. The 450 children are consuming 50% more calories per day over the last 3 years because their families have been able to diversify and improve the quantity and quality of the food they grow and eat. Also, since they are drinking clean water and washing their hands, children are less likely to be sickened by intestinal parasites. Their bodies can take better advantage of the nutrition now available to them.