After Ebola, Gardens Help Rebuild Lives

by Seed Programs International
After Ebola, Gardens Help Rebuild Lives
After Ebola, Gardens Help Rebuild Lives
After Ebola, Gardens Help Rebuild Lives
After Ebola, Gardens Help Rebuild Lives
After Ebola, Gardens Help Rebuild Lives
After Ebola, Gardens Help Rebuild Lives
After Ebola, Gardens Help Rebuild Lives
After Ebola, Gardens Help Rebuild Lives
After Ebola, Gardens Help Rebuild Lives
After Ebola, Gardens Help Rebuild Lives
After Ebola, Gardens Help Rebuild Lives
After Ebola, Gardens Help Rebuild Lives
After Ebola, Gardens Help Rebuild Lives
After Ebola, Gardens Help Rebuild Lives
After Ebola, Gardens Help Rebuild Lives
After Ebola, Gardens Help Rebuild Lives
After Ebola, Gardens Help Rebuild Lives
After Ebola, Gardens Help Rebuild Lives
After Ebola, Gardens Help Rebuild Lives
After Ebola, Gardens Help Rebuild Lives
2 Liberian Orgs. Receiving Seeds You Helped Send
2 Liberian Orgs. Receiving Seeds You Helped Send

I looked up Ebola on Google Trends today -- the 2015 graph of interest in this topic looks like a ski slope. This project, which you so generously supported, is about as un-trendy as possible. 

Yet, to us, in weekly contact with people in Liberia, Ebola still, today, couldn't be more timely. I thought this email from one of our partner organizations, Church Aid Liberia, was very well-stated. The message comes from Chairman Kortu Brown, a Reverend and also interim leader of the Liberian Council of Churches, so it starts with his usual devout greeting:

"Greetings in Jesus name! It is quite awhile now since we heard of a new Ebola case in Liberia. Much efforts have been put into fighting the virus and compelling it into submission.

But it doesn't mean its effect - and possible resurgence - has been eradicated. It is estimated that the disease killed more than 11,000 people and affected more than 28,000 persons in the three worst affected countries i.e. Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. There are more than 25,000 Ebola orphans in the three countries. Recent reports suggest the
possibility of "reactivated" Ebola cases. This is scary because we initially believe that once you made it through the 21-day incubation period, you were freed.

And many survivors live in trauma - and anxiety. Their physical and spiritual health are challenged. They are further challenged by the lack of basic sustenance."

Reverend Brown goes on to explain that his organization has just completed a 40-page counseling guide for community care workers. In a country like Liberia, professional psychiatric care is scarce or absent -- community members take on this task themselves.

 All of this is why our project, which provides seeds, tools, and training for women and men to engage in vegetable gardening, is so important. First of all, it provides sustenance and livelihood for those who are suffering from lost income as households shrunk, neighbors took orphaned children under roof, and food prices remain high due to the lingering effects of short harvests from growing seasons in the past year -- people were (rightfully) afraid to gather to plant, tend, and harvest crops. Second: if you've ever grown a garden, you understand that there is a healing power in working the land -- which is exactly what Liberian families need now. 

Finally, there are just two weeks remaining in GlobalGiving's matching program for this project. Gifts will be matched 100% -- that's doubled, by funds in hand from multiple sources including the foundation of Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen.  

In summary: the project as described is still very relevant, and still needs support. Please tell your friends, family, and colleagues, using the share links on our project page. I thank you for your past support of this important work, which continues even as Ebola fades from the headlines.

A Raised Nursery Bed with Vegetable Seedlings.
A Raised Nursery Bed with Vegetable Seedlings.
Cabbage Harvest
Cabbage Harvest
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Receiving Seeds
Receiving Seeds
"I am a mother of 6 living children, I gave birth to 8 children. The oldest child is 25 and I lost him to Ebola and I lost my 5th born to malnutrition when she was just a little over the age of 1 year. I lost my first husband in the civil war and later remarried my current husband who was a widow with 4 of his own children. My current husband is physically disabled also as a result of the civil war. Together we are raising 10 children.
I am a farmer, and I am the main bread winner for the family. I have received vegetable seeds for my small farm from the church program for women. The seeds have fed and clothed my family, I am forever grateful for the help.
The women's program has helped me get training and seeds, without this help my family is helpless. We can now help ourselves. I work in the field and my husband works at the market to sell our vegetables, the okra is very popular at the market it is our best seller. I thank you you all that are helping me and the others that are with me."

-Angie S., Liberia

This story is from our partner Church Aid Liberia, based in Brewerville, Liberia.

Photos are from our partner Green Coast Agriculture Project, based in Kakata, Liberia.

Neither program would be possible without your support. Today, GlobalGiving's 100% match of Ebola recovery donations, launched this spring, is still in effect. I hope you can spread the word to your friends, colleagues, and family about this opportunity to support life, livelihood, nutrition, and equality in Liberia, and to give a gift that goes twice as far due to the generous matching program. Thank you.

Seedling nursery bed
Seedling nursery bed
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The fields
The fields

With the recent news of the Ebola vaccine, there seems to be hope for prevention of outbreak in the future. While the disease seems to be contained for the time being, the survivors of the Ebola outbreak are hard at work to get their lives back to normal. 

For this update report we would like to share a letter from one of our partners in Liberia:

Dear Seed Programs,

I am very grateful and appreciative on behalf of the G-CAP Family for the seeds that you have raised for us. Words are inadequate to tell you how thankful we are to you.

Since the receipt of these seeds, we have trained a total of 500 Vegetable Growers and we have also opened a demonstration farm at Camp #7, Montserrado County. This program is well embraced by the Local farmers and they are looking forward to seeing much from us in the not too distant future.

Now that farmers are harvesting from the donated, they are very, very happy to reap the fruit of their labor. The news of the seeds growing program is spreading like wild fire into other counties. This is evidenced by the invitation we received from Local Chief to extend our services. With your support we have determine to move this organization from this level to the next level by providing our training services to local communities. 

Thank you!!

Aloysius Tamba

Planting
Planting
End of the day
End of the day
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Liberian orphans
Liberian orphans

We give our deep thanks for your generous support of the Liberia project. Although progress has persisted for six months in a very "slow but steady" fashion, the recent GlobalGiving 100% match has helped to finally allows us to jump in with both feet. It’s been one year since we first heard about the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, and you may not be seeing or hearing about it so much in the media these days. The outbreak left the already struggling population crippled with food shortages, price spikes, and faced with missed planting and harvesting seasons. With the recent shipment of 50,000 packets of seeds successfully delivered to Liberia, we are working with our in-country partner, Church Aid Liberia, in monitoring distribution and planting of the seeds.

E-mail update from Rev. Brown of Church Aid Liberia:

April 16th, 2015

"Dear Seed Programs International,

Greetings! I wanted to tell you that my colleague Miatta hasn't been well in the past few days since she returned from the ECHO West Africa Agriculture conference in Republic of Ghana. This has even slowed down our plans to experiment a Moringa field to explore the possibility of massive production since experts say the plant has many health benefits.

However, as soon as Miatta recovers and is back at office, she'll be able to write in detail about her activities. Currently, veg seed distribution is ongoing. Field volunteers are moving in the field with inputs to assist gardeners to plant seeds. Post-Ebola Liberia is even more challenged in terms of food shortages.

Concerning women program, it's a big part of Church Aid programming. Our layer of programs include:

 1. Community Women Training Center (CWTC)

2. Mobile Skills Training Clinic (MSTC)

3. Micro-enterprise development program (MED)

4. Girls Career Club (GCC)

5. Women in Agriculture program, etc.

Looking forward to sending you updates and progress reports of the seeds and the program.

Thanks, God bless

Rev. Brown"

 

Our partner, Church Aide Liberia, directed by Rev. Kortu Brown, relies on our partnership and works closely with others service providers to reach Liberians in need.

Although we’ve reached our initial goal of $2000.00, the need is far greater and we can do more. So, if there is anybody among your friends, colleagues, or family who intended to give and may have forgotten, or who you think might gain satisfaction from supporting this project, let them know today! Global Giving is offering 100% match up to $1000.00 per donor while funds last. Global Giving also offers nice e-cards, printable paper cards, and mailed cards for giving in honor of Mother’s Day, a birthday, or any other occasion. With monies raised we are able to go forward in getting more seeds and other gardening resources to Liberia.

Again, we thank you for your continued support!

Seed Programs Internationl 

 

 

 

Links:

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Ebola orphans - VOA#1 community
Ebola orphans - VOA#1 community

Thank you so much for your gifts. This is our second report:

The shipment of 50,000 packets of seeds made possible by your support left East Rochester, New York to hopefully be picked up and moving from JFK today. 

The seed selection includes cabbage, collard, cucumber, eggplant, okra, hot pepper and bell pepper. This represents a variety of foods that can be readily grown by households and fit well into the local diet, and are sellable at market to bring needed extra income. Our partners in Liberia have strong agricultural training and will select and distribute seeds accordingly.

Our partner, Church Aide Liberia; Directed by Rev. Kortu Brown relies on our partnership and works closely with others service providers to reach Liberians in need.

Rev. Brown reports “The field search of our psychosocial team in the VOA#1 community, about 5 minutes drive away from our church reported about 101 Ebola orphans are struggling in that community. Church Aid team of 10 trauma counselors have been going in there two weeks now to ascertain whether these children, ranging from 1 1/2 to 18 years old were really orphaned by Ebola including 71 reported survivors in this same area. Banjor community findings are awaited. We are also exploring a possible 4-fold program for such kids: [1] Place with foster parents/guardians where required and provide for basic needs i.e food, clothes, etc, [2] Support a center where they can benefit from trauma counseling and recreation, [3] Provide periodic medical care, and [4] Education sponsorship in any school of their choosing in the country, etc. "

With your help, we've reached $772.00, this achievement will surely support our work to fight hunger among thousands of seed recipients. We are within in reach of our goal of $2000.00. With monies raised we are able to go forward in getting more seeds to Liberia. So, if there is anybody among your friends, colleagues, or family who intended to give and may have forgotten, or who you think might gain satisfaction from supporting this project, let them know today! Global Giving also offers very nice e-cards, printable paper cards, and mailed cards for giving in honor of a birthday or any other occasion.

Have a great 2015. You'll likely hear another update in about a month. Until then, we can't thank you enough for your support.

Ebola orphans - VOA#1 community
Ebola orphans - VOA#1 community
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Organization Information

Seed Programs International

Location: Asheville, NC - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @seedprograms
Project Leader:
Peter Marks
Asheville, NC United States

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
   

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