During the month of February 2016, the Food for Life (FFL) Program was able to be a blessing in the lives of very poor community farmers living in Arivonimamo. This community is 45km from Antananarivo where the training site is located.
The community farmers attend a church called “Shalom” which is pastored by Pastor Andriamanasitefy. Shalom has sent one person to the FFL Mada 2 training through one of our partner NGO’s called Mercy Ministries.
The project we implemented in that community is called “Seed Project” and helped 15 different families. Seed projects are very small scale ideas that we have and implement in a community that brings very big impacts.
FFL trainees took many days to really plan for this seed project which was teaching community farmers the goodness of an Organic Family Garden that helps them solve some of their nutritional problems. The community farmers selected were the poorest in that community. FFL trainees, after discussing with these farmers about the challenges they faced each day in their farming activities, gave them some teachings on how to make good use of their land.
During three good days of interaction, many of these very poor families benefited from the training in:
– Nurseries with cabbage, eggplant, lettuce, and squash as participants brought seeds with them
– Compost beds
– How to make natural insecticide
The trainees were very inspired when they finished their internship assignment. This method helped the future trainers to understand certain realities of the field and how to address them and at the same time “Be Friend to a Farmer”.
On Sunday morning all the participants attended the local church, Shalom, to report to the whole church on what they have helped with during the three days. One of the farmers shared a testimony about Mercy Ships Food for Life Program and said:
“I am so grateful to Mercy Ships for this wonderful and unique opportunity. No one has ever done this for us for free. Even if we have to pay to get training it will never be like what Food for Life has given us. This impact will stay even for 300 years because we will teach our children and they will pass it on to their children as well. Many thanks to all the Participants and especially to Mercy Ships.”
Christina and Christine, nurses from the Ship, took the journey with us on Saturday to visit these families and see how God has used our FFL participants to be a blessing to the community of Arivonimamo. Then Martha Rodriguez, CBSP HOPE Center Manager, and her daughter Loren came to visit while the participants were giving their reports.
Written by Eliphaz Essah, Agriculture Projects Facilitator