Recent grants allocated from the Church of the Brethren’s Global Food Crisis Fund (GFCF) support expansion of community gardening at the Lybrook Communities Ministries in New Mexico, and two agriculture projects that serve the Twa people in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. These three grants total $36,180.
An allocation of $15,000 supports community gardening expansion at Lybrook Community Ministries, a Church of the Brethren-related organization in Cuba, N.M. The grant will cover the costs of purchasing and setting up four large un-heated high tunnels or greenhouses, which will extend the growing season in this high desert area by several months each year. This expansion of the community garden will allow for greater production of vegetables for local families. The grant also will support the purchase of fencing, water collection tanks, wooden stands, fertilizer, topsoil, and two tillers, along with some smaller gardening tools. Previously, Lybrook Community Ministries received a $1,000 grant for the community gardening effort from the Going to the Garden initiative of the GFCF and the Office of Public Witness.
An allocation of $11,180 helps expand agriculture work among the Twa people of Rwanda. The project is being administered by ETOMR (Evangelistic Training Outreach Ministries of Rwanda), a ministry of the Evangelical Friends Church of Rwanda. The grant supports agricultural inputs and land rental to expand the project to include 60 new families in both an existing potato growing effort, and a new maize (corn) growing initiative. A major benefit of the project beyond the potatoes grown for consumption will come from the sale of potatoes to buy annual health insurance for participating families. Previous GFCF grants to this organization in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015 totaled $24,026. Since 2011, Carlisle (Ohio) Church of the Brethren also has been supporting this project.
An additional allocation of $10,000 funds agriculture work in the DR Congo, primarily with 250 Twa families. The recipient of the grant, Shalom Ministry for Reconciliation and Development (SHAMIRED), is a ministry of Eglise des Freres au Congo, a church of the Congo Brethren. This In addition to serving the Twa families, 50 Congo Brethren families will be working under the direction of SHAMIRED to raise crops such as peanuts, cassava, bananas, corn, and vegetables. In addition, funds will support the purchase of a motorcycle for use by the agronomist for training activities. Previous allocations to this project were made in 2011, 2013, 2014, and 2015, totaling $22,500.
For more information about the Global Food Crisis Fund go to www.brethren.org/gfcf .