GFI grants go to agriculture projects in Nigeria, Rwanda, Guatemala, Spain, Burundi

Mari Calep, Agriculture Department volunteer, waters trees in the EYN orchard. Photo by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford

The Global Food Initiative of the Church of the Brethren has made several grants in recent weeks. Among them are grants to a soybean value chain project and an orchard irrigation well of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria). Other grants are going to a pig project in Rwanda, a corn project in Guatemala, garden projects in Spain, and a conservation seminar in Burundi.

For more about the Global Food initiative and to donate to this work, go to www.brethren.org/gfi .

Nigeria soybean project

An allocation of $12,500 supports the Soybean Value Chain project of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria). The project is in its third year. Agriculture staff in EYN’s Integrated Community Based Development Program have made plans for the continuation of the project in 2020 including quality seed multiplication; support of 15 volunteer extension agents; training on soybean processing for women; advocacy for soybean production; processing and marketing within EYN and beyond; and a 10 percent administration fee for EYN’s general operating costs.

Nigeria orchard irrigation well

A grant of $6,800 supports the drilling and installation of an irrigation well for a demonstration and teaching orchard at EYN headquarters in Kwarhi, Nigeria. The orchard, operated by the agriculture staff, was established in 2018 and is currently irrigated with water from the same well providing water to all residences and office buildings. Several large, new buildings have been built, which will increase the demand for water at EYN headquarters. As the fruit trees grow, drip irrigation will be used not only for the trees but also to grow vegetables between the trees until they are mature and fruit-bearing.

Rwanda pig project

A grant of $10,000 is given to the Church of the Brethren in Rwanda to expand an existing pig project. This is the second year of financial support for this project, and begins the “passing the gift” phase of the project. Animals from a central farm established in the first year will be given to families belonging to the Twa community. The plan is to distribute 180 pigs to 90 families over the next three years.

Guatemala corn project

A grant of $5,000 is going to a corn growing project in the villages of Estrella del Norte and Tochosh, Guatemala. The project was developed in response to the concerns of a member of West Charleston (Ohio) Church of the Brethren who is from this area of Guatemala where poverty and malnutrition have created a vicious chronic cycle, perpetuated for generations. High levels of chronic malnutrition, acute malnutrition, and anemia have become the norm. The program will work with 60 families, 31 from the community of Tochosh and 29 from Estrella del Norte, with the purpose of renting land where they can grow corn. Participant selection will be based on needs, giving priority to families with high levels of malnutrition and without access to other land.

Garden projects in Spain

A garden project of the Gijon congregation of Iglesia Evangelica de los Hermanos (the Church of the Brethren in Spain) in Asturias, is receiving a grant of $4,400. This is the fifth year this garden project is receiving a GFI grant.

A garden project of the Lanzarote congregation in Spain, located in the Canary Islands, is receiving a grant of $3,520. This is the fifth year for this garden project to receive a GFI grant.

Burundi conservation seminar

A grant of $539 is covering costs of a one-day training seminar on conservation agriculture techniques in Burundi. The seminar is a special event for 20 key participants in an ongoing five-year farmer training school project run by Trauma Healing and Reconciliation Services (THARS).

For more about the Global Food initiative and to donate to this work of the Church of the Brethren, go to www.brethren.org/gfi .