The most recent grants from the Global Food Initiative (GFI) bolster agriculture in several nations including Burundi, Ecuador, India, the Dominican Republic, and Venezuela. Find out more about the work of the GFI and how to support it at www.brethren.org/gfi .
An additional allocation of $9,872 has been given for farmer training in Burundi. The grant recipient, Trauma Healing and Reconciliation Services (THARS), will use the grant for its Farmer Field School activities. Funds will pay for seeds, fertilizer, training sessions, plowing, land rental, and administrative costs. This is the third year of what THARS hopes will be a five-year project. Previous grants to this project total $26,640.
An allocation of $8,210 supports agriculture work in Ankleshwar, Gujarat State, India. The Rural Service Center (RSC) provides services to local farmers, with proceeds going to allow the RSC to support work in areas of even greater need. In the grant application, RSC contact Darryl Sankey reports, “The rural community needs exposure to modern farming techniques of leveling and tilling land, to increase the production of food grain, and sanitation and hygiene,” and “promoting usage of Bio Gas as cheap source of energy.” Funds will be used for land leveling activities (terracing) to allow for irrigation; seeds and fertilizer for crop trials; classes for adults in modern farming techniques, hygiene, sanitation, and bio-gas production; as well as costs associated with tractors and program staff salary and transportation needs.
An allocation of $6,650 supports a new rice-growing initiative in Venezuela. The project is an initiative of the Asociación Iglesia de Los Hermanos Venezuela (ASIGLEHV or Church of the Brethren in Venezuela) and Fundación Cristiana Restauración (Christian Restoration Foundation of the Church of the Brethren in Venezuela). The harvest, projected to be over 50 tons and grown on 10 hectares (approximately 25 acres), will be distributed as follows: 50 percent to Brethren church members in need, 20 percent to community groups, and 30 percent to the Venezuelan government (obligatory). Funds will be used specifically for the purchase of seed, fertilizer, pesticides, tractor rental, and a percentage to the land owner (a church member) for the use of his land. A professionally trained agronomist, also a church member, will be a consultant to this project.
An allocation of $4,750 supports a rabbit raising project of Iglesia de los Hermanos (the Church of the Brethren in the Dominican Republic). Brethren mission worker Jason Hoover will work closely with the leadership of Iglesia de Los Hermanos on this project, which will serve 43 participants in 17 communities. Rabbits and cages will be provided as loans, and must be repaid. The grant money will purchase animals, materials for cages, water bottles, and instructional materials, and will fund training seminars. Funds also will cover the travel costs of Abe Fisher of Bunkertown Church of the Brethren, McAlisterville, Pa., who works with Juniper Missions in Haiti and who has provided training to staff and members of Eglise des Freres Haitiens (the Church of the Brethren in Haiti).
An allocation of $3,000 supports the establishment of two agroforestry demonstration and teaching plots in Ecuador. This is a project of La Fundación Brethren y Unida (FBU, the United and Brethren Foundation), a nonprofit that arose from the work of the Church of the Brethren in Ecuador in the 1950s and 1960s. The project will support about 500 families in the communities of Picalqui and Cubinche. Goals for use of the grant are: an agro-ecological demonstration plot working to empower young people and children of the community of Cubinche in agroecology; training for 40 young men and women in basic subjects of agro-ecological production; development of six productive reforested plots in Picalqui and Cubinche (500 trees); basic training to prepare healthy and nutritious foods that improve the nutrition of children and youth in the community. Funds will purchase seed, vegetable seedlings, organic fertilizer, wire caging, irrigation equipment, community trainings, and staff transportation. Twenty youth from each community will be selected for the project.
For more about the Global Food Initiative go to www.brethren.org/gfi .