As inflation rises and climate change impacts weather and rain patterns, food security and the development of sustainable agricultural practices is the number one priority for many of Spirit In Action's grant partners. Collaborations between different community organizations is crucial to spread resources to reach as many as possible and provide individuals with the tools they need to stabilize their families.
Sharing the Gift for Neighbors in Need
To see two SIA grant partners coming together to create a multiplied impact for the communities they serve is a beautiful thing. Earlier this month, the Ubuntu Life Foundation and Empowering Communities as Actors for Transforming Societies held a joint event to distribute food to people living in Githurai, a low-income area outside of Nairobi, Kenya.
This emergency food support is critical; A recent article from African news outlet, The Continent, reported how the costs of food and cooking products have risen to alarming rates, "a litre of cooking oil has risen by nearly 42% and the cost of 2kg bag of wheat by roughly 25%." Before the war, Kenya imported 34% of its wheat from Russian and Ukraine.
It is not unusual for Kenyan's to spend roughly half of their household income on food. At this distribution event, families received staples like rice, grains, and cooking oil.
Another partner organization, CIFORD Kenya has received over $3k in emergency funding from SIA to help with immediate food needs related to the rise of inflation. "In Tigania, it's not about the economic times but the lack of food. Due to lack of rains, many families are sleeping hungry with no hope for the next meal."
Pictured here is a food distribution event that CIFORD Kenya held for the Kaongo primary school. "We can sacrifice to share with others... this food will retain the children in this school."
Strengthening Communities Through Agriculture
Other SIA Partner organizations are tackling the issue of food security through programs that expand agricultural practices. The Great Lakes Peace Center in Uganda brought families together that were displaced after recurring flooding in the area of Bulembya. Great Lakes provided 25 families with goats that will jumpstart their mental well-being and recovery, "the activity has increased the spirit of togetherness... and has helped them to become more innovative," shares the team.
Goats are an important part of sustainable agriculture - they provide a vital source of income for farmers who can sell their milk, meat, cheese, butter, and hides.
The Tubunganire community garden produces vegetables such as cabbage, tomatoes, onions, and eggplants.
With SIA funding, a "solidarity chain" has been started by grantee Tubunganire with the planting of a community garden and the distribution of a number of pigs to members in the community. The name of the organization means "let's add to their efforts" in Kirundi, the language of the Burundi people.
Groups like the Great Lakes Peace Center and Tubunganire are also helping to empower women - as women often do the planting on farms and manage animals like goats, they are able to gain more financial freedom. Being able to afford daily household needs and expenses such as children's school fees without having to rely on men or their families, is a huge win for women in these areas as they continue to strive for greater independence.
Spirit in Action continues to be responsive to the needs of our grant partners and is proud to support the collaborative efforts of organizations working for food security for all.