Sallay Mansaray and Tennah Kamara work in the fields, watering their crops in Waterloo, Sierra Leone. With your help we can help these women get back on their feet.
Although the situation in West Africa is by most measures under control, the impact of the Ebola outbreak on community and farming activities in Liberia and Sierra Leone has been catastrophic. As governments closed or restricted cross-border transactions, there was a scarcity of agricultural inputs such as fertilizers, seeds and agro-tools. This lead to a drop in output from farming activities and also caused disruption to the regular farming cycle. Although all BRAC operations in Sierra Leone and Liberia resumed in November 2014, the farmers are still struggling to produce crops due to a price hike in seed prices.
BRAC intended to make the program self-sufficient in the third year of its operation, but had to reassess this goal and reallocate funds to maintain farming activities during the Ebola crisis.
BRAC is taking necessary steps that aim to accelerate the recovery process for the farmers affected by the Ebola crisis. This includes developing a program that will build the capacity and resilience of Agriculture systems in order to achieve long-term positive social, economic and nutritional results. The recovery program also promotes entrepreneurship and improvement in food supply production. BRAC will also provide financial and credit support for farmers and micro-entrepreneurs who have been directly affected by the outbreak. We are looking to raise funds that would allow us to provide cash transfers to the farmers in order to support household income and help replace raw inputs, such as seeds and fertilizers.
Thank you for donating to support this work. As we look to build further resilience in West Africa we appreciate your help to put entreprenuers back on their feet!
Musu Flomo in her kitchen garden in Gbarnga, Liberia on April 25, 2014. Musu received her seeds, watering can and training from BRAC. She grows okra, peppers, cassava, and watermelon for her family and to sell in the market. BRAC is working to stop Ebola so farmers like Musu can continue their work.
The Ebola outbreak in Liberia and Sierra Leone has been catastrophic, putting a severe strain on already over-burdened and under-resourced health care systems. BRAC staff were some of the first responders, distributing disinfectant, chlorine as well as providing educational materials such as flyers, posters, and broadcasting radio jingles about preventative measures. Global Giving donors were instrumental in supporting these efforts. To find out more about how we are combating Ebola, see the links below.
Due to travel bans and restrictions on public gatherings, BRAC was forced to temporarily halt programming, including its agriculture and livestock operations, in August. BRAC offices reopened in September and programs are being modified, adjusting to government restrictions during this state of emergency. Luckily, BRAC offices, residences, poultry and seed farms have been found in good condition, although marketplaces are not yet operating as usual.
These closed markets and disruptions in food supply have caused devastating shortages in both Liberia and Sierra Leone. BRAC’s emergency response plan complements the efforts of the World Food Program by distributing food and other necessary supplies to quarantined households.
BRAC asks that you keep in your thoughts the families of farmers, community health promoters, mentors, staff, and volunteers who have lost their lives combatting this deadly disease.
Please support our emergency response plan by visiting the links below.
As mentioned in the last report, funding from other partners has enabled our teams in Sierra Leone and Liberia to begin operations on the ground. Basic training in kitchen gardening has begun for 475 rural women total, and training in backyard poultry rearing is underway for 200 women in Liberia.
In the last report, we also mentioned that efforts were underway to organize village nutrition committees. We are happy to report that in addition to the 25 village nutrition committees established in Liberia, we have organized 20 nuitrition awareness campaigns in Sierra Leone. The nutrition awareness campaigns bring essential health knowledge to rural women, which empowers them to better care for their families while they receive training in kitchen gardening and poultry rearing.
We still need your support to equip our trainees and future entrepreneurs with agriculture and livestock starter kits! Please make a donation to empower women in Liberia and Sierra Leone!
Thanks to support from other partners, the Family Farming project is under way in both Liberia and Sierra Leone.
This project, which focuses on food security for rural women, is being implemented in six districts of Sierra Leone covering 20 BRAC branches. Under the general agriculture program, 300 farmers have received training on rice production and vegetable gardening. Specific to the Family Farming project, we can report that basic training in kitchen gardening has been given to 300 rural women and we have begun establishing Village Nutrition Committees in the six districts in which BRAC operates.
Activities within the Family Farming project in Liberia area also going well. The BRAC Liberia team has already recruited and trained 175 rural women in kitchen gardening and 25 Village Nutrition Committees have been established within the six counties that BRAC runs operations.
Stay tuned for further updates and encourage your friends and family to contribute to this project that is literally changing the landscape for rural women!
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