The Church of the Brethren’s Global Food Initiative (GFI) fund has made numerous recent grants to a variety of projects in the US, the Caribbean, Africa, and Latin America. The seven allocations made since mid-August total more than $42,000 in aid.
- A grant of $5,000 will help fund a Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) position in racial justice in the Church of the Brethren Office of Peacebuilding and Policy. The position will be jointly funded by the Global Mission and Service office and the office of the general secretary. The volunteer will spend time working with church-based community gardens and other Church of the Brethren food-related ministries in order to help identify and address issues of systemic racism and injustice and the land rights of indigenous people.
- A grant of $7,908 will provide additional support to farmers as part of long-term recovery efforts in Puerto Rico in the wake of last year’s Hurricane Maria. Funds will aid the purchase of citrus seedlings, banana seeds, fertilizer, and insecticide.
- A grant of $2,550 will cover costs of a mid-year evaluation by Klebert Exceus of an agriculture project in Haiti being funded by the Foods Resource Bank and run by Eglise des Freres d’Haiti (Church of the Brethren in Haiti). The Soil Conservation and Income Generation Project, which began on April 1, runs through March 31, 2019, with the option of renewal, pending results.
- A grant of $2,815 covers the costs of a Soybean Value Chain project consultation that was held Sept. 15-23 in Nigeria, evaluating work on the project done to date.
- A grant of $10,000 will assist in the construction of a greenhouse for vegetable seedling production at Proyecto Aldea Global (PAG, Project Global Village) in Honduras. It will provide approximately 100 local farmers across 30 to 50 communities with access to quality vegetable plants in order to help diversify their farming production. It will also employ 10 to 15 women who will manage it as a business.
- An additional grant of $5,000 will support the promotion of indigenous food crops in Ecuador through a nonprofit organization (La Fundación Brethren y Unida / United and Brethren Foundation) that arose from Church of the Brethren work in Ecuador in the mid-20th century. A $3,000 grant was given last year to establish teaching and demonstration plots. The new grant will be used to purchase seeds, vegetables seedlings, and organic fertilizer, and fund community trainings and farmer’s markets.
- And an additional grant of $8,944 will continue support for farmer training in the African nation of Burundi through Trauma Healing and Reconciliation Services (THARS). GFI has been supporting the project since 2015.