– May 17, 2012
In Canada, the Victoria Day weekend is the time when thoughts turn towards gardening. For many in the Little Italy area of Toronto – where War Child is based – that means vegetables. Backyards become little farms, filled with tomatoes, beans, and cucumbers. It is a proud tradition that has been imported by families from Italy and Portugal.
Growing produce is also a tradition for the Masalit tribe in Darfur, Sudan. For generations they relied on the land for their livelihood. But then the brutality of war came and these peaceful people were forced to flee their land, ending up in one of the many cramped displacement camps, miles from home.
This is what happened to Hawa and her family. With her husband and four children she lives in the Amduwein camp, just south of the town of Krenik. Her husband has a modest laundry shop in town and it brings in a small income. They were just about getting by until 2010, when Hawa had twins. Suddenly the family income was not enough.
“Life became very difficult for us.” She said, “I couldn’t feed the children and we had no money to survive.”
Hawa made a decision. She had no skills for work in town, so she had to return to the land. The only safe and available place to farm was a small, quarter hectare plot in the Durta valley, an hour walk away from the camp. At the time it was all she could afford to rent.
Obviously, there are no garden centres in Darfur, and Hawa needed both seeds and tools to work the plot. And while she knew how to grow crops, she didn’t have the business skills to maximize her profits.
Fortunately, War Child could help. Our Darfur livelihood program was able to provide seeds, along with tools such as a hand pump to help irrigate the soil. At the same time, War Child’s partner, the Darfur Community Peace and Stability Fund, offered in-kind support and technical advice to help her establish a small farming business.
Hawa’s life has been transformed. The business has been a success and midway through the season she could afford to extend her plot and reinvest some profits into a new crop – onions – which extended the growing season. The rest of the profits support her children. “The vegetables I sell help me afford milk for the children, food, clothes, medicine and small household items, like soap.”
Hawa has big plans for the future. She wants to find a larger plot where she can grow millet to increase her income. She has also signed up to War Child’s vocational training program, where she shares her experience with other female farmers and is given access to tools – like a motorized pump – that will help her to grow the business.
Hawa is an inspiration to all gardeners, whatever the size of their plot. This weekend, as you restock your garden, consider leaving a couple of plants at the garden centre and donating the money you save to War Child. By giving your other vegetables space to grow you could be planting a seed of hope on another continent.« Previous Post » Next Post
I was born in Sierra Leone and now live in Edmonton AB, Canada. I just want to say thank you so much for such an amazing story. This stroy brought tears to my eyes, knowing that MY people are still suffering but yet have a positive attitude towards life. Thank for this wonderful story :)
I am impressed. If all this is happening in real world and real life and time, in Uganda, then we are by all accounts, on our way to seriously addressing some of the most critical issues bedeviling sub-regions of Northern Uganda, which was devastated by more than a decade of war and civil strive, leaving many in human need and want.
Continued community education and essential skills training,supported by legal advocacy and action, is an important step forward, towards eradicating such evil in society, in hopes of empowering rural communities, for a more tolerant, cohesive, inclusive, democratic, peaceful, just and fair society.
Such is a surmountable task for one group to accomplice, on their own. Every effort War Child is making in that direction, should be supported by all those who care for the communities living in the sub-regions of Northern Uganda.They should pitch in. whatever support they can garner. So, what sort of sacrifices are you willing to make, to successfully accomplice this noble task? To improve conditions of living and change people's lives for the better! What action can you take now?
Wow, that really sucks. Poor Charles, it must be hard to here that your sister got raped. Luckely he had the training he needed.
Everyday we get closer to a solution!
This is a wonderful initiative, many thanks to those who have done the work to bring this day about!
Well music has always been a relaxing and enjoyable medium to relax in this phase of life. It is the only way by which people of different qualification come together to make something that targets the amusement of the public. So here is the example of something happening for everyone.
Sound Recording Studio
People who live luxuriously at rich counties do not care about the environment or generation of waste. Eventhough the awareness programs are conducted, they wouldn't follow the rules properly. But people in the undeveloped countries use less amount of energy and recycle as much as possible. Due to inadequate facilities, people follow the simple way of life and they save lot of natural resources. Small things can achieve big targets.
Perhaps the time has arrived for more peace talk and less war talk
When will the auction begin on August 8th? What is the link to it?