Radishes - a great source of calcium, fibre and B6
Part of the craziness our biofarm proposal received back in 2010 was that we exist in a drough prone region so why grow produce there.
It's simple we responded. Farmers in the region don't have the luxury of 'changing career' so we wanted to walk with them through their difficulties to find solutions. Water management, poly tunnels, secondary planting beds (to nuture a crop with 'spill' water') and other incentives mean we can turn hardship into productivity.
Also gardening for anyone who does it is theraputic. Snehalaya's Himmatgram project (also known as our biofarm) translates to Hamlet of Courage and we LIVE courageousness. We seek to serve families who have contracted HIV and are living an ostracised life to find self sufficiency and a 'way back'. Our farm helps in so many ways and on so many levels
- Gentle excercise in the open air is immune building
- Agricultural skills learnt
- A safe place free to judgement to remain as a family
- Real business skills learnt (taking produce to market)
- A sense of purpose and future with seasonal growth milestones
- Access to our other services - IT Skills, Clinics, Self Help Groups
- Pride in feeding our other family members across 6 other projects (milk to our adoption centre, veg to our school children and drop in centres)
Right now Shashikant Torane is heading up a great harvest of Sweet Corn and Radishes and was recently featured on our very own community radio show talking about "how they said it would fail but our courage saw us through". Shashikant lives on the farm and gives support and guidance along with the rest of the team. We have an agricultural head and a dairy head. We don't make a focus on who is staff and who isn't - everyone is just working at the farm. Just a mere 25 years old this guy is a modern marvel. In India it's a hard task to get people to support people living with HIV and AIDs, let alone work and live side by side with people year round. For Shashikant it's not even a question he considers.
'You can't get infected easily and people are people,we all have something to give and the farm allows us all to stand side by side and feel good about ourselves'
The impact is clear to see, not only do we produce some great farm products including 60 litres of fresh milk a day to sweet corn, cucumbers, leave salad (year round thanks to our poly tunnel) benefitting the diets all in our projects (important when many have immune diseases like HIV), we also are helping people who felt cast out and waiting to die turn their lives around for themselves, for their families and for their futures.
This project runs on just £53 a day. It provides a home with a medical facility to 23 people living with HIV - women, men and children. It gives a huge sense of purpose, future, and self empoerment. It also meants we have fresh vegetables and fruit to feed the women and children at our other projects.
It gives courage. With the droughts and illness and social stigma life is tough enough. Without the help of great supporters like you we simply can't keep this project going. Please give £53 to keep our project going and help Shashikant keep giving courage to all at the farm.
Trimmed and ready to go to feeding our 360 kids!
Sweetcorn - full of lutein good for healthy vision
Shashikant - our hero in his life less ordinary
Aubergine or Egg Plant - you decide?