The Church of the Brethren’s Global Food Crisis Fund (GFCF) has allocated a number of grants totaling more than $90,000. The allocations support Proyecto Aldea Global in Honduras, THARS in Burundi, a community garden related to Mountain View Church of the Brethren in Idaho, two community garden projects in Spain, and agricultural training in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The sum of $66,243.27 over two years has been allocated to Proyecto Aldea Global (PAG) in Honduras. The funds will be given as follows: $42,814.36 in 2015, and $23,428.91 in 2016. These allocations fund the final two years of a four-year proposal received by the GFCF in 2013, allowing PAG to integrate 60 new families into its “Producing to Grow” small animal program in 2015 and another 60 in 2016. Previous GFCF grants to PAG have supported a micro-credit project with Lenca Indians in 2011-12, and the “Producing to Grow” project in 2013-14.
A grant of $16,000 helps fund a farmer training project in Burundi. The recipient is Trauma Healing and Reconciliation Services (THARS). The training project will reach 700 participants from two separate groups: Self Help Groups of women who experienced trauma during Burundi’s civil war, and the Twa people who have experienced violence and discrimination from Burundi’s dominant Tutsi and Hutu groups. The GFCF grant will purchase seeds, fertilizer, and hoes, and also will support training seminars, agricultural trainers, administrative costs associated with beginning the new program, and travel expenses to Burundi for THARS executive director John Braun.
A grant of $3,688.16 is purchasing a pump for a community gardening project of Mountain View Church of the Brethren in Boise, Idaho. The Mountain View congregation works in partnership with the Idaho Office for Refugees’ Global Gardens program, with gardeners coming from various regions of the world including Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. The project was the recipient of two separate $1,000 grants through the Going to the Garden grant program. Funds will cover purchase of the pump and the associated electrical work for installation.
A grant of $3,251 supports a communal gardening project in Asturias, Spain. The project, under the direction of Mano Amiga a los Hermanos (a ministry of Una Luz en las Naciones–A Light in the Nations Church of the Brethren), began last year with a donated piece of property in Villaviciosa. Funds will cover the rent of an additional piece of land as well as the purchase of vegetable seedlings, seeds, fertilizer, and irrigation systems. Some of the produce grown will be given to the neediest in the community and the rest will be sold to help the project sustain itself in the future.
A grant of $1,825 supports a community gardening project on the island of Lanzarote–one of the Canary Islands of Spain. The project is operated under a ministry of Iglesia de Los Hermanos de Lanzarote, which is related to the Church of the Brethren in Spain. The garden will serve between 30-40 families from 8 different countries: Spain, Honduras, Dominican Republic, Columbia, Cuba, Venezuela, Equador, and Uruguay. Church members and their neighbors will work together on this project, intentionally focusing on reaching those who are unemployed and not receiving any government services. The grant will cover seeds, fertilizer, hoses, water, and rent for the gardens.
Democratic Republic of Congo
An allocation of $2,680 supports a two-day training seminar on improved methods of banana production in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The training provided by World Relief staff, benefits 45 participants involved with agricultural programs of Shalom Ministry for Reconciliation and Development (SHAMIREDE) and Eglise des Freres au Congo (Church of the Brethren in the Congo). Charles Franzen, country director for World Relief in the DR Congo, and a member of Westminster (Md.) Church of the Brethren, has helped arrange for the training.
For more information about the Global Food Crisis Fund go to www.brethren.org/gfcf .