Soyama, a small town in Southern Ethiopia, is the new home to hundreds of displaced people, mostly women with children, who have fled northward from Mega, Ethiopia to escape violence and drought. Displaced people who lost everything have no means to acquire tools, seeds, fertilizers, and arable land. They want to help themselves via hard work but lack any means to begin. An increase in population has risks for the entire village, causing food shortage, higher prices, and tension among neighbors.
Our partner, Grow East Africa, has proven success helping people grow diverse vegetables when rain is adequate. In 2016, they achieved harvests of kale, carrot, cabbage, quinoa, peppers, and onions. But when rain was short in 2017, gardens dried up. Your donation now provides seeds as well as simple water-saving technologies (shallow wells, irrigation). Women also manage goats, to improve soil fertility and water holding capacity. The result is a harvest of good food and a garden micro-business.
Seeds and knowledge have this in common: neither is a one-time, consumable resource; both can be multiplied and passed on to others. SPI partnerships help move populations to locally-driven solutions. For example, women can start small seed businesses to distribute seed purchased regionally in market towns or capital cities. Once a community is empowered with key knowledge of nutrition, gardening, marketing, and food preparation, vegetable gardening can become a self-perpetuating habit.