A serious drought is having “immense impact” on people’s lives and livelihoods in Ethiopia, stated a United Nation Emergency Relief Coordinator who visited the country in January.

The UN News Service reported that Ethiopian farmers are “still living on the brink…and struggling to sustain themselves and their families. Farmers are already fleeing their homes in search of water.”

And this is the case in a region of the country known as Kombolcha.

“Tragic,” you might say to yourself in sympathy for those affected. “But what can I do?”

For one thing, you can participate in the Bread and Water for Africa® Generosity Series 5K to be held Sunday, June 11, at Anacostia Park in Washington, DC. At only 3.1 miles, the event accommodates runners of all ages and abilities, walkers and the differently-abled as well.

Our mission has long included bringing clean, safe water to those communities in Africa most in need.

Through the 5K run/walk, Bread and Water for Africa® is hoping to make our goal of $11,500 to dig a water well in a region of the country known as Kombolcha. The well would serve an estimated 130 families – each with an average of six family members – providing water to 780 children, women and men.

“Woha hiyiweti newi” means “Water is life” in the Amharic language spoken in Kombolcha. The “Woha (Water ) for Kombolcha” 5K will help us in our mission to give water, and indeed life, to families in Ethiopia.

As the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator stated after seeing the dire situation in the country, “We need to act now before it’s too late. “We have no time to lose.”

For more information on the “Woha (Water ) for Kombolcha” 5K Run/Walk, or sign up to participate, please click here.

 

Ever since mankind made the transition from hunter-gatherer to agrarian society about 10,000 years ago, most of the world’s population relies on farming and other agricultural activities for food.

In many countries in sub-Saharan Africa, including Kenya, Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe and Zambia many millions are reliant not just on farms for food, but must rely on themselves to grow enough food for themselves and their families, and hopefully have surplus crops to be able to sell at local markets.

The challenges for these small-holder farmers, a large percentage of them women, are many and great – especially regarding having adequate rainfall during the growing season in these times of climate change which cause extensive drought leaving farmers with nothing as all they can do is watch the crops wither and die.

But in these countries Bread and Water for Africa® has been working for two decades to support agricultural programs leading to food self-sufficiency and economic independence on both large and small scale projects.

For example, in Kenya, working with our longtime international spokesperson Phyllis Keino and Jos Creemers, manager of the Baraka Farm, over more than 20 years we have been witness to their efforts in transforming 500 barren acres into a thriving agricultural and dairy producing operation which supports Phyllis’ mission as director of the adjacent Lewa Children’s Home.

In Sierra Leone, after years of a brutal civil war and the tragic, deadly Ebola outbreak in 2014/15, Bread and Water for Africa® longtime partner there, Rev. Francis Mambu, director of the Faith Healing Development Organization, is not daunted – in fact he is more determined than ever to restore agricultural production to his country.

Bread and Water for Africa® supports FHDO’s own large-scale rice farming operations through the purchase of farming equipment including tractors and more recently following the Ebola outbreak when farming activities all but ceased in the country, thanks to our supporters, we were able to provide Rev. Mambu with a rice planter/harvester which allowed him to greatly increase production on his land.

In addition, through FHDO programs, Bread and Water for Africa® has provided support to hundreds of small holder farmers – again almost all women struggling to raise their children – by providing seeds and seedlings for plants such as groundnuts (peanuts) at the start of the growing season.

Most recently we are working on a program to provide women with cassava (yucca) plants which, when mature, they sell to a processing plant owned by FHDO which converts the cassava into flour. The women then buy the flour at wholesale prices which they sell at their local markets – in effect making two profits on the same product.

In Zambia, Bread and Water for Africa® supports the efforts of our partner there the Kabwata Orphanage and Transit Centre to have a banana plantation to support the orphanage, similar to the model created by Phyllis for Baraka Farm and Lewa Children’s Home. The banana plantation, started in 2007, was so successful that a few years later Bread and Water for Africa® provided funding for Kabwata director Angela Miyanda to double the size of the planation.

Then, in 2015, Angela came up with the idea to expand her food producing activities with pisciculture, more commonly known as “fish farming.” Bread and Water for Africa® provided her the “seed” money to construct ponds each containing 3,000 tilapia fish which mature in 90 to 120 days not only providing fish for the children, but making thousands of dollars in profits annually.

And in Zimbabwe, Bread and Water for Africa® partner, Shinga Development Trust, is not set up using modern farming mechanisms such as Baraka Farm, but instead utilizes a more traditional farming method known as “Farming God’s Way.”

As explained by Shinga director Margaret Makambira, “Farming God’s Way” stresses teacher farmers to build a sustainable farming method by managing the land, maintaining minimum wastage, no ploughing, and rotation of the crops.

From large scale modern farming to assisting small holder farmers subsisting on the small tracts of land, Bread and Water for Africa® places a high value on agricultural programs, and rightly so as so many lives depend on the success of farmers, big and small.

All because of our supporters, Bread and Water for Africa 2016 highlights include:

  • School construction completed in Cameroon
  • 74 orphaned children found a loving home in Kenya
  • 1,006 students received primary and secondary school education in Sierra Leone
  • 146 children in foster care received food support and assistance with school fees in Zambia
  • 207 children benefited from an orphan feeding program in Zimbabwe

Watch here how successful 2016 has been thus far!

A recent report in the Concord Times of Sierra Leone confirms what we already knew here at Bread and Water for Africa® — that cassava, along with maize, has been identified “as two of the main pillars of West Africa’s food security that could form the backbone for a thriving agro-industry in the sub-region.”

That’s why we are working with our partner in Sierra Leone, Faith Healing Development Organization (FHDO), to construct a plant to process cassava into flour, known as gari, which is a food staple in the country. 

As FHDO Executive Director Rev. Francis Mambu explains, FHDO will provide 500 female farmers with cassava seedlings to plant on their small tracts of land, who will then sell the mature cassava root to FHDO, which will process the cassava into gari. Then the women will purchase the gari in bulk at wholesale prices which they can sell at their local markets – effectively making two profits on the same  product.

 The study recently released by the Food and Agriculture Organization and the International Fund for Agricultural Development entitled “Rebuilding West Africa’s Food Potential” pointed out that countries in West Africa such as Sierra Leone, one of the poorest in the world, “can realize full agricultural potential if they boost productivity, foster competitiveness and ensure than small-scale farmers have greater access to markets.”

And that is exactly what FHDO with help from our supporters here at Bread and Water for Africa® is working to accomplish.

Read more at http://slconcordtimes.com/maize-cassava-identified-as-west-africas-food-security-pillars/

Bread and Water for Africa® supports programs in countries such as Cameroon providing all types of assistance to people from the youngest of infants to the most senior of citizens.

But, first and foremost, regardless of age, we cannot let them go hungry.

During the past year, Bread and Water for Africa® provided thousands of dollars in grant funding for an agricultural food sustainability project for our partner there, Hope Outreach International Ministries.

Using 13 acres of land available in the Bueu region of Cameroon, the project will grow basic staple foods – such as plantains and rice – to benefit 250 children who live in four area orphanages in the area as well as 225 elderly local residents and destitute families.

While Hope Outreach International Ministries does not operate those orphanages, it partners with a local children’s home to provide the basic necessities of life.

While the immediate goal for the project is simply to ensure that the children and adults don’t go hungry, in keeping with Bread and Water for Africa®’s priority of self-sufficiency, the long-term goal for the project is to generate revenue to support Home Outreach International Ministries’ programs, such as health care and education, and then reinvesting into the farm’s operations.

 

In Zambia, fresh, clean water is a precious commodity.

And not only is ensuring there is enough safe water for people to drink and for domestic and hygiene purposes difficult enough, it is even harder to create available water resources to adequately irrigate crops.

That is why in October, 2014, Bread and Water for Africa® awarded a $20,000 grant to our partner there – Kabwata Orphanage & Transit Centre – for a water well for its gardens.

Kabwata founder and executive director Angela Miyanda reported in December that the crops have been planted and a reservoir has been constructed to make sure there will be a steady supply of water. The reservoir will ensure that those crops not only survive, but thrive, during their two-month growing period.

“With the reservoir in place, the project will manage to get enough clients that will support the project,” Mrs. Miyanda told us.

“Water is being shared amongst so many residents,” she added. “The area where the project is situated is a farming one and many people have shifted here. After having three wells in place, water was still not adequate for the project. The project has since set up the water reservoir for storage for irrigation.”

The wells, reservoir and irrigation project have paid off in multiple ways.

“Older children have been participating in the daily works around the farm project,” Mrs. Miyanda said. “This opportunity is used as a practical lesson for them to appreciate and learn a skill which may be an advantage to their future. It has inspired and motivated many people who are willing to assist in their own ways. Over the last two years, the program has proven to be a steady source of income. Proceeds made from the sale of garden crops have either been used to sustain and develop the project and/or to assist individuals as reasonable need arises.”

Local communities have been integrated in the program by empowering them with a sense of community participation. Instead of expecting only to receive benefits from the project, they now offer their services willingly to aid in the growth and sustenance of the project. The biggest strength has been the formal training of two staff members for the project. Irrigation and plant maintenance have been formally organized and are being implemented by Kabwata’s own staff.

Despite the success, Mrs. Miyanda is realistic that it is still going to take some time before the garden project can be completely self-sustaining.

“In order to take the project further, we may encounter some challenges which may need your support,” she said. “However, our intention is to have the project stand on its own.”

And thanks to supporters of Bread and Water for Africa® like you, she is well on her way to realizing that goal.

Training Kenyan Farmers

They say that knowledge is power, and thanks to Bread and Water for Africa®’s partner in Kenya, Baraka Farm , today there are some very powerful smallholder dairy farmers who are realizing great increases in their milk production.

Farmer TrainingPhilimon, Stanley, Raphael, Paul and Samuel each have fewer than 10 cows, but with the training they received through the farm’s Practical Dairy Training Center they learned how to more than double the amount of milk they were getting from those cows without increasing their number.

Course modules included feeding, an introduction to various zero-grazing options, production of the milk in a sanitary and hygienic manner, and calf-rearing. Future courses will include the topics of cow health, fertility and farm record keeping.

While there is much to be learned in a classroom setting, more than half of the training is spent on the farm doing practical hands-on training on a small model farm, similar to the circumstances in which the students operate their own farms.

And for those who cannot make it to Eldoret to take the class themselves in person, Baraka Farm has started posting videos on youtube for anyone with a computer to view and learn from. For example, see the video below, it is now possible to gain information about calf rearing from the farm manager Jos Creemers himself.

There can be no doubt that for the small Kenyan farmers Philimon, Stanley, Raphael, Paul and Samuel the knowledge they obtained through the course will benefit more than just themselves alone, but their families, and those they share the knowledge with in their own communities.

Through your support of Bread and Water for Africa® you are helping to put more, and safer, milk into the bellies of children and making Kenya a more prosperous place to live, one small farmer at a time.

Feeding Africa

World Food Day

Yeteem

Ethiopia – Yeteem Childrens and Destitute Mothers Fund

“Feeding the world, caring for the earth” is the theme of this year’s United Nation’s World Food Day on October 16 with the goal of raising the profile of family farming and smallholder farms around the world.

Since 1997, Bread and Water for Africa®has been supporting farming programs in Kenya, Ethiopia and Zambia with the overarching mission of eradicating hunger, providing food security and nutrition, managing natural resources, protecting the environment, and achieving sustainable development, particularly in rural areas.

Such is the case in Ethiopia where Bread and Water for Africa® has partnered withYeteem Children and Destitute Mothers Fund to help the nomadic pastoralists barely surviving in the semi-arid region make the transformation to the concept of traditional farming techniques and best practices.

Kenya - Baraka Farm. Training local farmers.

Kenya – Baraka Farm. Training local farmers.

In Kenya, our partner the Baraka Farm  not only produces milk and high-quality cheese and other dairy products, they share their knowledge with local small farmers throughout the country to increase their yield.

In Zimbabwe, our partner Shinga Development Trust is working with a technique called “Farming God’s Way,” a sustainable approach to farming with the ultimate goal of teaching people to make the most of what God has blessed them with so that they are able to help themselves out of poverty and “experience His promised abundant life.”

The principles of Farming God’s Way — no plowing of the soil, crop rotation and minimum wastage – are being used successfully in many developing countries .

Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe – Training God’s way at Shinga farmland.

As the world population increases, more and more people are realizing the importance of not only increasing food production, particularly in developing countries such as Ethiopia, Kenya and Zimbabwe, but to protect and preserve the ground from which the sustenance comes.

With your help, Bread and Water for Africa® has been working not just to help rural farmers have a good growing season, but enjoy the bounty that is possible from their own small piece of land throughout their lifetime, and for the generations to come. 

Donate Now

Help Feed Africa!

Baraka Farm

The Baraka Farm, part of the Lewa Children’s Home in Eldoret, Kenya, is seeing its “roots” spread beyond Eldoret.  The Practical Dairy Training Center at the Baraka Farm , which started just two years ago as an outreach program designed to help other local farmers in the community, is beginning to revolutionize the dairy industry in East Africa.

The project came about as Phyllis Keino, Bread and Water for Africa® spokesperson and founder of the farm, and Jos Creemers, Baraka Farm manager, decided to share their experiences and knowledge gained during the development of the farm, which includes an extensive dairy operation.

As word spread throughout east Africa about the success of the Baraka farm, more than 10,000 people – farmers, livestock officers, students, etc. – visited the farm in the last ten years to learn about the operation first-hand.

But then Phyllis and Jos had a better idea – rather than a guided tour, how about a small course in order to share knowledge about dairy cattle and the best farm management practices in a more informative and practical way?

Students of Baraka Farms's Dairy Practical Training are hard at work.

Students of Baraka Farms’s  Practical Dairy Training Center are hard at work.

And with that the Practical Dairy Training Center was born. The five-day, full-time training program provides information on feeding, management of grazing lands,  housing, calf-rearing, and milking technique and hygiene.

Already, 60 farm operators, managers and herdsmen have participated in the training.  They each then took back to their farming operations the critical skills needed to efficiently and effectively increase safe production of dairy products.  In Kenya, there is a shortage of adequately skilled and trained people at all levels in the dairy industry, particularly among small farms – even though they produce 80 percent of all the milk in Kenya.  But with your generous support of the Practical Dairy Training Center at Baraka Farm, you are helping to make a difference, for a farm, and for a nation – one farmer at a time

 

World Day

child-waterWater is life. It can sometimes be easy for us to take this precious resource for granted thanks to its ready availability here in the United States, but access to water is a daily concern and threat in many regions of Africa.

drainageIn 2009, Kenya experienced its worst drought in over 40 years. The lack of rainfall that persisted for more than 11 months that year caused water shortages throughout the nation, creating even greater difficulties in the communities affected. Not only did people lack water essential for their own health, but there was also no water to sustain crops – leading to massive crop failures that sunk the region into famine and further poverty.

reseviorWithout a stable supply of water, our partners the Lewa Children’s Home in Eldoret, Kenya could not provide for the 500-600 people who depend on the complex every day. As a result of the devastating drought of 2009, the Lewa Children’s Home complex, including nearby Baraka Farm and Kipkeino Primary School, realized the need for improved water management to prevent future disasters. We at Bread and Water for Africa® worked with the Lewa Children’s Home to combat the water shortage by supporting forward thinking projects and stability for the Home in the future.

Water-harvesting provides great benefits and a unique stability to areas where rainfall is sporadic. This type of water management allows for water to be stored through extended periods of drought to be used for irrigation, as well as drinking water for animals and – after filtration- for people.

waterharvest2After extensive research into the technology and system that would be most successful and sustainable for the Lewa Children’s Home Complex, Jos Creemers and Phyllis Keino determined that a two reservoir system to harvest and store the water was the best approach. Thanks to the rallying and support of all of our loyal and compassionate donors, we were able to support Lewa’s installation of this water-harvesting system just in time for the next drought.

Thanks to the new ability for the reservoirs to capture rainfall during the rainy season (however short it may be in a given year), and the capacity of the equipment to actually prevent any evaporation of the stored water – the home is able to withstand droughts by planning and rationing the stored water. Upon implementation, the first water reservoir was completely filled in just six weeks! Needless to say, the water-harvesting project has been a great success! This water management project provides the Lewa Children’s Home with improved water and food security, which allows the complex to focus on increased care of its beneficiaries rather than on the basic day-to-day survival of the complex.

waterharvestAlthough this project has been a huge success, the devastating effects that Lewa Children’s Home faced during the tragic drought of summer 2011 showed us that there is still more that can be done – training, better equipment, and larger storage capacity to name a few. Future investment in the water infrastructure and sustainable water and soil management is still necessary.

Would you consider donating today to aid in the continuation and expansion of this project?

 

 

 

A serious drought is having “immense impact” on people’s lives and livelihoods in Ethiopia, stated a United Nation Emergency Relief Coordinator who visited the...