Foods Resources Bank (FRB) and the Organization of African Instituted Churches (OAIC) recently announced a partnership agreement that strengthens their efforts to reduce hunger through sustainable agriculture and improved nutrition. By working together, the two organizations will now be able to share a network of learning and deepen their reach into communities at the economic margins of Africa.
“This is an exciting opportunity to create more paths to solving world hunger and learn from each other,” says FRB CEO Marv Baldwin. OAIC joins FRB's network of 23 partner organizations all focused on creating lasting food security programs in developing countries."
Adds OAIC Secretary Reverend Nicta Lubaale, “Being African means being resourceful. We are using local resources and teaching sustainable agricultural techniques to transform the way smallholder farmers grow food to improve their yields as well as the nutritional variety of the foods they produce and consume.”
Under-nourishment in Sub-Saharan Africa is a big challenge. The 2015 report of the State on Food Insecurity in the World indicates that 220 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa are living in a state of hunger. In the East African region, 37 million are undernourished. Both FRB and OAIC see agriculture as a lasting solution to hunger. By organizing community groups and providing tools and training to smallholder farmers, these farmers are able to generate sufficient food for their families, share the excess as well as sell some to afford household staples and school requirements for their school-going children.
“Charity never ends poverty,” says Lubaale. “But once you have productive land, you will not go hungry.”
FRB has supported one million people as they have transformed from living in chronic hunger to becoming food secure in its first 15 years and has set a goal to reach the next million in half that time. OAIC is targeting 3,000 congregations and farmers’ organizations to reach 400,000 smallholder farmers in three years. With an average of five family members per household, approximately two million people will realize food and nutritional security and improved incomes through OAIC’s outreach.
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,
What is conservation agriculture (CA)? How does it work?
The UN's Food and Agricultural Organization describes conversation agriculture as: a concept for resource-saving agricultural crop production that strives to achieve acceptable profits together with high and sustained production levels while concurrently conserving the environment.
In the recorded webinar, MCC staff based in Southern and Eastern Africa share
In FRB’s Kenya-Ndeiya program, making charcoal briquettes out of waste paper and other materials has become a solution to the scarcity of firewood, and a “green” source of income for many families. The Kenyan government has restricted thecutting of trees in an attempt to halt massive deforestation in the country, yet most people have no choice but to cook over open fires or on small wood-burning stoves.
A recent workshop demonstrated a creative way to make alternative fuel
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
Farmers in FRB’s Mozambique Tete-Mutarara program are experiencing increased yields through conservation agriculture. Despite frequent droughts and flooding, many are finding ways to improve planting techniques and soil condition.
FRB's Central African Republic-Gamboula program faces unrest as a result of recent religious violence. This article, from The Evangenlical Covenant Church, provides the story from the perspective of Roy and Aleta Danforth, current leaders of the CEFA project. Despite feelings of hopelessness in the midst of tragedy, the Danforth's are reminded of love after visiting some of their friends at a refugee camp in CAR. See the original blog post below.
All of the Fulani friends of Covenant missionaries Roy and Aleta Danforth have been forced to flee the Central African Republic in fear for their lives due to the religious violence that is tearing apart the African nation.
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.
FRB’s Uganda-Busoga program is based on the premise that the food security of smallholder maize farmers increases when husbands and wives learn to work together toward the goal of increasing their maize production. Traditionally, women and men have farmed separately, with women’s efforts going toward caring for the whole family, and men raising money that sometimes went to the family but most often went to meet their individual needs. This program encourages both spouses to think about the family as a unit that needs to be cared for first.