Masked farmers plant coconut saplings
After shifting our focus toward providing emergency aid in the early days of the pandemic, we have redirected our efforts back toward promoting sustainable, organic farming practices. We are grateful for the opportunity to return to our work leveraging your generous donations toward helping farmers reseed their farms, which were destroyed by the devastation of Cyclone Gaja.
Over the summer, we distributed packages containing ten types of vegetable seeds to 100 farmers in the small village of Edumalai. The seeds were all non-GMO varieties that can be banked for future seasons. This fall, you enabled us to provide 200 coconut tree saplings to 50 farmers in the villages of Mahilambadi, Purathakudi, and Irungalur. Along with each seed package and sapling, farmers also received natural, non-toxic pest repellants and nutrient-rich manure fertilizers. As you can see in the picture, these saplings and supplies represent renewed hope for people who have seemingly lost everything. Your generosity has helped other humans to remember that there is good in the world, that perhaps their plight is not forgotten in the chaos.
While COVID-19 restrictions have prevented Voice Trust from conducting the in-person permaculture training sessions as we had originally planned, we have worked hard to adapt. We are developing instruction modules that can be delivered via teleconference, to respect social distance. Participating farmers will have access to Voice Trust staff for advice regarding sustainable agriculture, and follow-up surveys are planned to assess the effectiveness of the training.
In addition to the challenges of COVID-19, a new amendment to India’s Foreign Contributions Regulation Act (FCRA) has presented another challenge. To comply with the new regulatory requirements, we are undergoing the necessary reviews that will allow us to open a dedicated FCRA Account with the State Bank of India, Delhi. We are hopeful that once we complete this process we will again be able to receive funds directly from GlobalGiving, rather than via a US fiscal sponsor. Direct receipt would be more streamlined and efficient, minimizing administrative requirements and maximizing the impacts of your donations.
As we face a variety of unexpected difficulties, we never forget your support, which has empowered us to overcome them. Thank you, sincerely, for your generosity. If you are able, please consider another gift to help these farmers find renewed hope and stability.
Looking forward to a brighter future together --