At Bread and Water for Africa®, we don’t just want to give a man (or woman) a bag of rice to eat for a week or two and then go hungry again, we want him to learn to grow it, and how to sell it, in order to build a life of self-sufficiency for himself and his family.

Such is the case through our food self-sustainability program with our partner the Rural Youth Development Organization-Sierra Leone (RYDO-SL).

Earlier this year, RYDO-SL program director Joseph Kobba reached out to us requesting funding for vegetable and crops production training for 75 impoverished women and youth to help them establish self-help income generating projects by training them in entrepreneurial and business management skills, as well as providing them with modest grants to help them achieve their dream.

“Food security in rural communities is a means of saving lives, improving nutrition, investing in women and youth, and laying a foundation for development and prosperity,” reported Joseph.

Among those who are benefiting from the program is 28-year-old Alusine who lives in the village of Ngehun Songa near the city of Bo who had to drop out of secondary school because there was no one to pay his school fees following the death of both his parents during the Ebola virus outbreak in the country in 2014-2015.

Knowing of his struggles, Alusine was contacted by RYDO-SL staff in their efforts to register vulnerable youths for the Bread and Water for Africa® COVID-19 support program.

“I am now a proud farmer because I can now grow rice on a large scale that can feed my brothers and sisters,” says Alusine. “Farming is very expensive work, but the support I received from Bread and Water for Africa® has helped me to take a big step forward.

Alusine also wants the supporters of Bread and Water for Africa® to know that their gifts have not just been of great help to himself and his siblings “but a blessing for my community.

“Thanks be to God for the farming tools and training I got from the COVID-19 relief program. My first harvest surplus is this year, and I am selling it in the community I love.”